Are you learning PLC programming?

Wondering what else you will need to learn along the way?

In this first article of a 4 part series, were starting with Hydraulics. Come explore Hydraulics with us and we’ll share why you should care about hydraulics and we’ll will share 3 of our best resources to learning everything you will ever need to know.

Making the Case to Know More

In general PLC programming requires much more of a knowledge base than just to be able to program a PLC. It requires you to know a few additional disciplines to include; electricity, fluid and pneumatic power and motor controls.

So let’s start with the 3 outputs to a PLC.

There are only 3 output devices that are controlled by a processor and they are; an indicator (light) a valve and a motor. Making fluid and pneumatic power important to know.

Now before I get too deep into the subject of this article. I can most certainly agree with some who you who believe that you can write PLC programs without ever knowing those disciplines. However note, that the value of knowing them is truly incalculable to your career.

You would be empowered to thoroughly specify a machines requirements, be able to generate the code to run it and you would be flexible enough to install devices, commission, debug and troubleshoot the machine during any part of the machines lifecycle.

So now that we know we need to learn more, how and where can we learn them?

In this first article we am going to share 3 resources that will help you fully learn fluid power. While there are many ways to learn anything these days, there are only a few worth that can scale your knowledge quickly and to a professional level.

The first resource is based on the presumption that you are new to fluid power.

 1. Lunch Box Lessons –

If you are a beginner who is new to learning about hydraulics you will find this resource incredibly helpful. LunchBox Sessions is so easy-to-use that you can easily navigate the website — there is no need to waste time learning how to use any software.

With a standard membership at $29 a month you will get access to a library of electrical, hydraulics and mechanical training resources. And you will give yourself unlimited access to all their learning media: lessons, videos, Live Schematic simulations, quizzes, puzzles — everything.

The website is intuitive and comprehensive at the same time, it is a must visit site for anyone searching for a really effective learning resource.

LunchBox Sessions is a whole new kind of industrial training. It’s full of working simulations that put you in control, step-by-step lessons that inform and challenge you, and 3D videos that take you inside the machine.

  1. E4Training –

E4Training offers an introductory to advanced level training which includes simulation software with lesson plans as well as a private members website as well for personalized assistance. That is a HUGE value for $15, making it hard to beat at that price point.

E4Training offers videos training modules which can then be experimented with in their simulation software. The simulation software offers an inside view of valve, and hydraulic controls giving you a unique learning perspective.

You will literally learn exactly how to build a fluid circuit and then be able to see how it REALLY works.

They offer 6 levels of training starting with beginners through engineers who design and update hydraulic equipment. To include strategies for multiple types of systems with tips and tricks for working with specific equipment.

The training is designed to serve pipe fitters and operators, maintenance teams and of course engineering. And is based on the CETOP competency guidelines, which represents 1000 companies throughout Europe and the National Fluid Power Associations.

The CETOP aims to offer real life skills to include supporting PLC programming for fluid power controls.

  1. Hydraulics Supermarket –

Brendan Casey is the founder of, he is a hydraulics expert with an MBA, he has more than 25 years’ experience in the design, maintenance, and repair and troubleshooting of mobile and industrial hydraulic equipment. He is a trusted source for information on learning hydraulics and pneumatics online. His training can help everyone from maintenance technicians to engineers to increase their knowledge and reduce their equipment operating costs on hydraulic equipment.

His online company provides a fully stocked store to include, books, videos, software and a training membership program as well. He even offers a training resource specifically to PLC programmers.

For example in his report “Relay and PLC Logic for Hydraulic Technicians” – $29.00

Inside his report on Relay and PLC Logic he offers 2 main sections, the first for beginners and the second for more advanced students. He also breaks down the information into written explanations along with ISO and IEEE/ANSI diagrams.

In his report he covers;

Direct and Indirect Switching of Valve Solenoids

  • Conjunction and Negation )AND or NOT Functions)
  • Relay Latching
  • Disjunction and Exclusion (OR and XOR)
  • Interlocking
  • Pressure and Path Dependent Sequencing Control
  • Two-Speed Control; Pump Unloading

And so much more…

The Take Away

With this article we’re hoping we’ve answered some questions, sparked your curiosity and shared some useful information. But, we know you may need more, so we invite you to contact us for some follow up questions or to discuss your unique needs.

Just go to our contact page and reach out to us and we’ll get back to you asap!

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