What is a programmable logic controller?

A programmable logic controller (PLC) is an industrialised device used to manage logic and various other tasks in industrial automation applications. Programmable logic controllers are often used in place of traditional relay logic systems as they have inputs, outputs, communication systems and can control more complex things like motion.

When do I need a programmable logic controller?

Often a machine or process needs to be automated, and the complexity of the design dictates that a basic programmable relay just can’t do the job. Programmable logic controllers have evolved to be able to handle very complex applications. PLCs are highly reliable, simple to program and have a huge install base in industry.


Should I use a PLC or MAC?

Sometimes applications have requirements that go beyond what a PLC can do. They may be large or complex, or require specialty systems that can control vision, robotics, complex motion systems and require integrated safety. For these applications a Machine Automation Controller (MAC) can be more suitable.


How to pick the right logic controller

To find the right PLC for your application, consider the amount of inputs and outputs and the complexity of the application. OMRON stocks a wide range of PLCs - everything from a shoebox controller (all in one small PLC) to full scale rack mounted controllers like the CJ2M and CS1 series.


If you have a small application with less than 60 inputs and outputs, a CP1 or CP2 series PLC is perfect for you. Some models support Ethernet, RS485 and RS232 so you can handle basic communications requirements to things like HMIs or other PLCs. They are the most economical and offer the best value for money.


The next step up is a rack-based system like the OMRON CJ2 and CS1 series. They offer far more expandability, support more advanced communications protocols like Ethernet/IP and EtherCAT and can be used as a motion controller.


OMRON programmable logic controllers

OMRON supplies compact PLC controllers to control both automation and motion functions within a project. Our range is comprehensive with support for many different protocols, input and output types and configurations.


Programmable logic controllers such as those in the CJ1, CS1 and other series, along with easy-to-use support software, allow you to flexibly handle applications - from small-scale equipment to entire production lines.


OMRON is a preferred supplier of motion control products including ladder logic controllers, PLC controllers, HMIs and servos. We have a long history as being one of the pioneers in this field and has one of the worlds largest install bases. Read more about our partnerships here.


Want to innovate within your industry? OMRON can supply equipment including state-of-the-art PLCs, motion control and vision systems. See how we’re helping Mexx strive to create a better future for all through collaboration and technology, by supplying state-of-the-art PLCs, motion control and vision systems. Get in touch to find out more.