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Hiring PLC Programmers! Why is this critical to the food and beverage production industry?

Aug 8, 2019 | Jim Bernier

A programmable logic controller, or PLC, is a digital computer used for automation on the production line. They can be found in every type of food and drink factory around the world, yet not many engineers have expertise when it comes to proper configuration and programming of them. 

The PLC is something of a workhorse in the automation industry.  In the 50 years or so since they were first developed, the PLC has not only changed the way assembly lines are controlled and sequenced, but they’ve also made the manufacturing process much more efficient overall. 

PLC’s were created to simplify assembly line processes and make them more productive.  Prior to the PLC manufacturing control was operated by specialist hardware such as relays and drum sequencers. This meant that if there was a technical failure, or even a necessary upgrade, it would be cost and time intensive to attend to.  When the first PLC ‘s were proposed in 1968, there was a loud sigh of relief from manufacturers everywhere.   This technology replaced the cost to re-wire relays, usually performed by electricians.   The PLC introduced an efficient way of controlling processes, one that was sleeker, didn’t guzzle energy and was easier to repair and update.

While PLC issues are relatively easy to diagnose, because PLCs are relied on for a wide range of responsibilities and functions, these problems can cause the whole production line to come to a grinding halt, costing the business money as they fight against downtime.  Having a PLC Programmer with several years’ experience in automation systems control or process control is critical to keep production efficiency.

Numerous foods manufacturers from frozen food lines, chocolates, bakery, snack foods, salad dressings, cheese, beverage and other are utilizing Black-Peak’s extensive industry experience to identify and provide employees and contractors with the appropriate PLC programming, configuration and commissioning experience to keep their production lines running efficiently through PLC’s and complete automation and control systems.  Jim Bernier has led the staffing effort at Black-Peak for several hundred small and large food and beverage industry in bringing in the best talent pool when required. 

 Proper PLC programming still sits at the heart of automation and critical for systems to function at peak performance.  If used to its maximum ability, a PLC can not only improve end-user functionality, but also provide significant production savings. 

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