In this website, you can get FREE information about the basics of PLC which I think you really have to know. Having said that, if you are really interested in taking your PLC knowledge to the next level, then I recommend that you take PLC training courses online or read a book written by a true expert on the subject matter.
PLC Training Courses
Courses on PLC online were created by experts who have decided to add even more value to the world. They have invested a lot of time, effort, and even money to bring all of these material to you! In fact, when a TRUE expert creates an online course, they bring MUCH MORE value to the table than the price that you pay. Some even go the extra mile and basically give their PLC training courses for FREE.
That said, I am not affiliated with any of these online PLC training courses and I just put them out here with the intention of bringing you the best resources that are available online.
Free PLC Courses
First of all, I would like to tell you that there are TONS of free PLC material out there as I was talking about earlier. You just have to look harder to find them. Look no further, here is the FREE PLC training course that you’ve been looking for.
All of these courses were made by Electrical Engineering Portal, and I highly recommend you check them out. The courses are highly informative–and very professional, too! You can check them out in this link:
PLC Programming Training by Electrical Engineering Portal
This PLC course is surprisingly elaborate. You will definitely feel the experience that the person has in each of the videos. The PLC training covers everything from PLC Basics, How to Program a PLC, as well as the essential topics that deepen your knowledge on PLC tremendously. For a Free PLC course, this offers SO MUCH VALUE. Hands down to the creator of this course.
Allen Bradley PLC Training
Once you finish the first course, Electrical Engineering Portal gives you a follow-up course on a specific brand of PLC: Allen-Bradley. These training videos, though targeted to Allen-Bradley users, may still benefit those who do not use the brand. There’s nothing to lose, after all–it’s basically FREE!
Premium PLC Training Courses
PLC Courses are definitely one hell of a project to make: it takes a high amount of expertise, experience, as well as time and money to produce! If you have experience in producing videos and getting quality equipment for recording, then you’ll know what I’m talking about.
Anyway, here are the top courses that I found online that may be useful for those who want to get the extra edge in PLC programming.
PLC Programming from Scratch (PLC I) from Udemy
First of all, Udemy is a website that was designed to cater online courses in a way that would help BOTH students and teachers who want to share their skills using video. Not only that, usually, course creators include a bunch of bonus stuff like ebooks or audio recordings in their courses.
That said, PLC Programming from Scratch is a course that I would recommend a total beginner to go for. If you want to check out the contents, here’s a collapsed list (I am also implying that this long collapsed list has WAY more content when expanded).
The course in unbelievably filled with SUBSTANCE for an $11.99 price. The course teaches the basics of PLC programming using Ladder Logic diagrams. The best part is–you don’t need a PLC yet to follow through this course because all the software provided so you can create your own PLC programs at the comfort of your own computer.
Practical PLC Programming (PLC II) from Udemy
This PLC training course is part 2 of the four-phase series of courses by the same creator. Once you have finished the first one (PLC programming from Scratch), the next step is to learn how to actually program harder and harder variations of PLC programs. According to reviews, this course provides PLC programming problems that are WAY more challenging than the ones that you would normally see on the internet. This PLC training course will highly improve your way of thinking when it comes to PLC programming. However, it is important to know that this series use RSLogix 500 as a base for the instruction sets.
The problems are about more practical applications of the PLC which include the ones that you will normally see in industrial automation. It certainly takes the theoretical level of the first one into a more usable form of knowledge.
By the way, if you are skeptical to even buy this course, the course creator, Paul Lynn, is actually legit–and the number of enrolled students speaks for itself. He has a very interesting story as well, and it makes a very authentic feeling of passion for his work.
Brand-specific PLC Courses
After reading through all the PLC courses above, you should have realized that a more specific approach in teaching PLC programming is actually more practical than the general ones when it comes to really designing systems because the specific features of each device is maximized. Also, different brands also use different terminology and conventions when it comes to programming such as different naming of input and output devices.
Here are some courses that teach you the specifics in programming PLC that are specific to a single brand.
Learn 5 PLCs in a Day–AB, Siemens, Schneider, Omron and Delta from Udemy
When I checked out this PLC training course, I found that it has an ENORMOUS amount of content.
By far, I think this would give the BEST value for money if you want to learn as much general knowledge as possible on programming specific brands of PLC.
For a $12 course, you’ll learn all of the things below:
Funny thing is, with that much content, I had to zoom out just to get this screenshot for you guys. Some courses were brand specific (including the PLC programming series I mentioned above), and although there were other ones available at the site, there are just really ones like this that REALLY stand out because of the value that it has compared to the amount that you invest in. Highly recommended.
PLC Training Courses: Other
I found RealPars when this site was not even established yet. I found very useful articles in their site, but what actually surprised me was that they also hosted PLC courses of their own!
If you want to check out their course, here’s a link:
Don’t like PLC courses? Here are some book recommendations
The following books were my personal references when it comes to building the articles contained in this website. In terms of practical knowledge, I would highly recommend just purchasing a course instead of one of these books because they are highly expensive. Part of the reason, I think, is that PLC programming is best taught real-time which also means that it must be actually shown how it is done to achieve maximum learning efficiency with students.
However, if you insist, you can always check out their prices on Amazon.
Programmable Logic Controllers by Frank Petruzella
This book was easily the most comprehensive book out there that discusses everything about Programmable Logic Controllers.
The author, Frank Petruzella, has a very extensive experience in the field of Control Engineering, and has provided a way, even for total beginners with just a bit of electrical engineering knowledge, to easily understand the concepts behind the PLC. The link below will get you to the product’s page on Amazon.
Programmable Logic Controllers by William Bolton
This one is another comprehensive material that I use very often.
If you check the price on Amazon, you would see that it is a LOT more inexpensive than Frank Petruzella’s book (which covers almost the same topics, by the way).
What I like about this book is that it tells you the concepts that you need to learn first, and actually includes a mini-chart for that before you go into programming.
PLC Courses vs Books: Which One is For You?
To answer your question, I think you should choose the one that falls into these 3 categories:
Fits your budget
If you lack the budget now, or perhaps you live in the Philippines or India where the rates of purchasing these educational materials are extremely high for the currency, then you can just check out the free courses listed above, OR just read my mini-course, PLC Basics if you are a beginner.
I highly suggest that you only buy a book if you have some background already, but just wants to get a reference that can be made more accessible than a computer.
Though, if you are serious about learning PLC, then I believe you should take the time to save money to gain the valuable skill of programming a PLC to actually work with it in the industry.
Suits your needs
Of course, the educational material must suit your needs. This is a no-brainer. Although, because some course titles are too general, I have included the content lists for some courses just because you really have to know the types of PLC that these courses are using.
If you just want to start learning the PLC, then PLC books are fine and you don’t actually need knowledge that are too specific–you simply don’t need them yet.
Matches your learning style
Some people are visual learners, some better understand when they read about something. So, in choosing the best PLC resource for you, you must know what type of learning style you do have.
PLC Training Courses are much better suited for visual learners, but personally I think courses are much more superior nowadays–you just have to be wary of where or who the information is coming from (that’s the only disadvantage of searching for online courses yourself). Even though the course has a lot of social proof, it does not already mean that the course has a ton of value in it. You may already get the same information for free and you just don’t know it, and that is why I have put this guide together.
Anyway, if you found this guide helpful, make sure to share it with your friends! Thank you so much for your time.