What Are the 3 Types of Programmable Logic Controllers?

Programmable logic controllers might seem like an all-encompassing solution for your industrial automation efforts. However, like any other piece of equipment, there are several subcategories of products designed to better suit the unique needs of different industries. When it comes to selecting the right one for your facilities, it’s crucial that you know which variety works best for your goals. There are three types of modular programmable logic controllers that allow for future expansion and customization. Here is what you need to know about them.

Relay Output PLCs

The first type of PLC to keep in mind is the relay output model. This product uses mechanical contacts to control two amps at once. These devices also work very well for systems with very low resistance. In essence, they make connecting your PLC to an exterior device much easier and allow for a more straightforward method of control. However, they aren’t as well suited for applications that require quick transitions between equipment.

Transistor Output PLCs

Transistor outputs, on the other hand, are solid state devices designed to work with small or medium current quantities. There are no moving components in these PLCs, which make them less likely to experience damage than relay models. This also makes them more reliable and able to last much longer. It’s important to note that transistor outputs only work with DC voltage, so you won’t be able to run devices using AC voltage.

Triac Output PLCs

Another of the three types of modular programmable logic controllers to know about is the triac output PLC. Unlike transistor PLCs, this type runs exclusively on AC voltage, which makes it a great option for low-power applications. This includes things like controlling lighting, motor starters, and contactors with a single amp rating. Any output requiring alternating current flows benefits from these devices.

Regardless of the type of programmable logic controller you need for your business, PLC Direct has a vast selection for you to pick from. As a premium PLC supplier, we’re dedicated to providing a wide range of options for several different industry needs. Additionally, we make sure to only carry the best brands available on the market, such as Allen Bradley and Siemens.