Collection of Open CourseWare in Hybrid PLC Mechatronics

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Mechatronics Technology Certificate Program
Preview Online Program: Hybrid PLC Mechatronics Overview
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Audience: Instructional designers, Industry training and students

The courses developed in this program use the PLC to train aspiring engineers and technicians. It gives motivation to those who show interest or potentially might show interest in a career in automation. The courses are outlined at the website: hybridplc.org. The courses’ texts and videos are free. They will remain so as long as this author is involved. The videos discuss a number of low-cost programming trainers as well as a group of low-cost lab experiments. The recommended approach is a $189 Siemens PLC, programming software and cable. All that is needed to complete the training station is a computer with Windows 10 Pro, a power supply and a breadboard with some resistors and jumpers and perhaps a voltmeter – common items many may already have.

Courses In This Program

Chapter 1 Introduction to PLCs

Man operating a machine

Programmable logic controllers (PLCs) were introduced to industry between 1968 and 1970 as a way to replace large expensive panels of relays, timers, and counters. Automotive manufacturers were looking for ways to simplify start up of new car lines after model changeovers each year and save money in the cost of manufacturing installations. This statement starts the text introducing PLCs and the study of how they are used to automate processes. The Hybrid Text is complemented by the Hybrid Lab Text and together they form a good study of the use of PLCs as well as instrumentation to automate a machine or complete process. The YouTube videos were recorded primarily during the covid time period with the assumption that the course(s) may necessarily be taught remotely for a number of years. Accompanying YouTube Video (38:27): PLC Series Chapter 1 – Introduction.
Preview Online Course Materials: Hybrid PLC Mechatronics – Chapter 1 Introduction to PLCs
Hybrid PLC Mechatronics – Chapter 1 Introduction to PLCs Video

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Chapter 2 Ladder Basics

mechanical items

Before discussing or understanding the PLC, one must first understand the devices the PLC was invented to replace. That was the ladder diagram and the devices represented in the ladder diagram. The ladder diagram (or electrical schematic or elementary diagram) is discussed and labs demonstrate circuits that are capable of being built from relays. Accompanying Video: PLC Series Chapter 2 – Ladder Basics (Includes Lab) 1:02:46.

Preview Online Course: Hybrid PLC Mechatronics – Chapter 2 Ladder Basics
Hybrid PLC Mechatronics – Chapter 2 Ladder Basics Video

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Chapter 3 PLCs and Processing I/O

electrical equipment

The purpose of this chapter is to discuss what parts constitute a modern PLC and how these parts interface. The topology of a PLC system is also discussed as to how PLCs are distributed in a manufacturing environment to best control a process efficiently. Inputs and outputs complete the PLC with inputs reporting the status of the system and outputs controlling the sequencing of the process. Two videos are included. The first is a lecture review of the chapter while the second demonstrates the log-in and download procedure for a new program with no content to both PLCs used in the course (Siemens and Allen-Bradley). Accompanying Video: PLC Series Chapter 3 (Part 1/2)- PLCs and Processing I/O 1:01:36 PLC Series Chapter 3 (Part 2/2) – How to Set-up Hardware and Software 36:01.

Preview Online Course: Hybrid PLC Mechatronics – Chapter 3 PLCs and Processing I/O
Hybrid PLC Mechatronics – Chapter 3 PLCs and Processing I/O Video Part 1/2
Hybrid PLC Mechatronics – Chapter 3 PLCs and Processing I/O Video Part 2/2

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Chapter 4 Programming the Application

screenshot of related course

This chapter deals with the steps to creating a working program from both the Siemens and A-B platform. In the last chapter, we dealt with linking the computer to the PLC and establishing the project or file for the PLC to begin programming. This chapter deals with the creation of programs for the PLC. The program is given, the Hot Dog Counter, and is a good program to demonstrate the concepts of programming Ladder Diagram programming. Accompanying Video: PLC Series Chapter 4 (Part 1/2) (39:57) – Programming the Application (Includes Lab) PLC Series Chapter 4 (Part 2/2) (12:21) – The Program Hybrid Lab Text – Ch.1 – The Hot Dog Counter.

Preview Online Course: Hybrid PLC Mechatronics – Chapter 4 Programming the Application
Hybrid PLC Mechatronics – Chapter 4 Programming the Application Lab
Hybrid PLC Mechatronics – Chapter 4 Programming the Application Video Part 1/2
Hybrid PLC Mechatronics – Chapter 4 Programming the Application Video Part 2/2

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Chapter 5 Control Task Basics

screenshot

This chapter begins the programming process. First, the decision as to an I/O list must be defined. Then various statements are made that define the logic. The addressing of Siemens S7-1200, A-B SLC (RSLogix 500) and A-B Compact (RSLogix 5000) are discussed. The two that are used in the labs are S7-1200 and A-B Compact. The older SLC architecture is used as a reference for those who may still need to maintain this system. Logic statements are designed in ladder and analyzed. The analysis includes DeMorgan negation. This method is used primarily to familiarize the student with ladder statements and require the student to analyze the ladder statement in a logical manner. Accompanying Video: PLC Series Chapter 5 – Control Task Basics (1:10:06) Hybrid Lab Text: Ch. 2 – The Coin Changer Ch. 3 – The Car Wash.

Preview Online Course: Hybrid PLC Mechatronics – Chapter 5 Control Task Basics
Hybrid PLC Mechatronics – Chapter 5 Control Task Basics Lab 2
Hybrid PLC Mechatronics – Chapter 5 Control Task Basics Lab 3
Hybrid PLC Mechatronics – Chapter 5 Control Task Basics Video

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Chapter 6 Basic Memory Circuits

electrical diagram

This chapter is useful in the development of logic using memory circuits. The prior chapter was interested in the development of combinational logic. This chapter began the discussion of sequential logic. More on sequential logic will follow. Writing of Siemens and Allen-Bradley contact and coil instructions is reviewed. A number of instructions were added in the discussion including memory instructions as well as one-shot or edge trigger instructions. Emphasis was placed on converting from one style of memory circuit to another. For Siemens and most European designers, the S-R logic dominates. In the US, seal circuits are dominant. Several example problems were introduced using the memory circuit concept. When more than one state is required, then several memory bits must be used to implement the overall logic. Accompanying Video: PLC Series Chapter 6 – Basic Memory Circuits (1:15:10).

Preview Online Course: Hybrid PLC Mechatronics – Chapter 6 Basic Memory Circuits
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Chapter 7 Timers, Counters and T/C Applications

electrical device

Timers and counters are discussed in this chapter. Timers and counters have been in existence for as long as relays and provide an important component in the development of logic. Practical examples of their use as well as timing diagrams for applications utilizing their specific qualifications are introduced. Examples show a need to be able to use timers in seal or memory circuits. Use of timers and counters together is discussed. An example of a conveyor system counting boxes is discussed and the use of timers and counters to control the movement on the conveyors is shown. Accompanying Video: PLC Series Chapter 7 – Timers, Counters and T/C Applications (2:13:33) Hybrid Lab Text: Ch. 4 – Traffic Intersection Ch. 5 – Cash Register Ch. 6 – Cash Register with HMI.

Preview Online Course: Hybrid PLC Mechatronics – Chapter 7 Timers, Counters and T/C Applications
Hybrid PLC Mechatronics – Chapter 7 Timers, Counters and T/C Applications Lab 4
Hybrid PLC Mechatronics – Chapter 7 Timers, Counters and T/C Applications Lab 5
Hybrid PLC Mechatronics – Chapter 7 Timers, Counters and T/C Applications Lab 6
Hybrid PLC Mechatronics – Chapter 7 Timers, Counters and T/C Applications Video

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Chapter 8 Math Functions

electrical meter

The introduction of mathematical operations in the PLC provided major benefits to control logic. Numeric data could be combined with logic to provide more powerful control strategies. For instance, decisions could be made concerning mathematical operations concerning counts of products, weights of a product, the temperature of an oven or any numeric variable in a process. Various number systems were described including decimal, hexadecimal and octal. Accompanying Video: PLC Series Chapter 8 (Part 1/2) – Math Functions (1:18:11) PLC Series Chapter 8 (Part 2/2) – Allen-Bradley Program (4:54) Hybrid Lab Text: Ch. 7 – Binary Add/Subtract Ch. 8 – PWM and Ramp.

Preview Online Course: Hybrid PLC Mechatronics – Chapter 8 Math Functions
Hybrid PLC Mechatronics – Chapter 8 Math Functions Lab 7
Hybrid PLC Mechatronics – Chapter 8 Math Functions Lab 8
Hybrid PLC Mechatronics – Chapter 8 Math Functions Video Part 1/2
Hybrid PLC Mechatronics – Chapter 8 Math Functions Video Part 2/2

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Chapter 9 Planning the Panel

electrical device

This chapter discusses several issues to be considered when building the automated control application. Included in the chapter are discussions about wire and voltage type. Interfaces between different control elements are also discussed. Safety is reviewed at the panel level as well as at the project level. Standards for drawing generation and drawing types are included as well as an introduction to the AutoCAD Electrical productivity enhancement program. This chapter looks at the construction of a panel and how the construction intersects with the need for safety in the workplace. The need to comply with safety rules over-shadows the other design criteria and has become the determining factor in the design of the control panel. PLCs are still the main element in a panel but their design and the control design in general has been modified to satisfy the need to comply with new safety criteria. While the student may seem at times disconnected from the real-world aspect of panel design, construction and check-out, he or she might be only months or years away from such an activity. And, many times, a company may take the attitude that safety is not important or not in their best interest. This is never the case and every attempt should be made to encourage and demand that rules be followed. There is no compromise on safety! Accompanying Video: PLC Series Chapter 9 – Planning the Panel (45:16).

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Chapter 10 Sensors, Safety, Analog and Troubleshooting

fail safe and fault tolerant sensors

We now look outside the control panel at devices and methods of design that affect the design of the PLC and the overall project. Included in this chapter are sensors, a separate study of safety of the machine and the operator, machine vision, bar-code and RFID, analog signal acquisition, troubleshooting techniques and diagnostic circuits. Analog signal handling was reviewed and program statements to provide signal conditioning were given. Accompanying Video: PLC Series Chapter 10 – Sensors, Safety, Analog and Troubleshooting (1:44:51) Hybrid Lab Text: Ch. 9 – Thumbwheel Switch Ch. 10 – Generating Energy from Bike.

Preview Online Course: Hybrid PLC Mechatronics – Chapter 10 Sensors, Safety, Analog and Troubleshooting
Hybrid PLC Mechatronics – Chapter 10 Sensors, Safety, Analog and Troubleshooting Lab 9
Hybrid PLC Mechatronics – Chapter 10 Sensors, Safety, Analog and Troubleshooting Lab 10
Hybrid PLC Mechatronics – Chapter 10 Sensors, Safety, Analog and Troubleshooting Video

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Chapter 11 Use of State Diagrams

use of state diagram

This chapter introduces the subject of state diagrams and how they play a part in PLC programming. Many of the more complicated problems in control involve state diagrams. This chapter is about state diagrams and their little cousin, the sequencer. Both of these tools are useful in programming difficult machine operations and allow the programmer to walk away after an installation with the satisfaction that the operation of the machine has been developed logically and the maintenance of the machine will be easier than if developed otherwise. Accompanying Video: PLC Series Chapter 11 – Use of State Diagrams (1:26:41) Hybrid Lab Text: Ch. 11 – Pumps with Floating Master.

Preview Online Course: Hybrid PLC Mechatronics – Chapter 11 Use of State Diagrams
Hybrid PLC Mechatronics – Chapter 11 Use of State Diagrams Lab 11
Hybrid PLC Mechatronics – Chapter 11 Artificial Intelligence Lab 28

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Chapter 12 Handling Data

screenshot of computer files

This chapter explains a number of data handling instructions and provides applications for their use in factory automation. Instructions are provided for a number of operations that would otherwise have required a significant programming effort to provide. Included are the queuing operations using FIFO instructions. Other interesting instructions in data handling include the bit-shift instructions. These instructions are used for shift register part tracking. Instructions used in data manipulation were shown with examples included for each type of instruction. Accompanying Video: PLC Series Chapter 12 – Handling Data (37:01).

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Chapter 13 Indexing – Batching Applications

screenshot of computer

This chapter discusses moving of data and large data manipulation programs. This includes batching applications. Also discussed are the different indexing instructions presently employed by A-B and Siemens as well as look back at the older indexing instructions used by A-B with their SLC and PLC-5 processor lines. In addition, we will look at a specification from ISA called SP88 and some of its methodologies as to how to build a successful batching application. You may be curious how two games, Simon Says and Whack-a-Mole have anything to do with batch applications. If run as sequences of numbers, the same operations used in these games are used for batch applications. The games are to be programmed in this way. Hopefully these labs will give some insight into actual batch programs. Accompanying Video: PLC Series Chapter 13 (Part 1/3) – Indexing – Batching Applications (1:05:54) PLC Series Chapter 13 (Part 2/3) – Allen-Bradley Program (6:21) PLC Series Chapter 13 (Part 3/3) – Batching System (8:28) Hybrid Lab Text: Ch. 12 – Simon Says Game Ch. 13 – Whack-a-Mole Ch. 14 – Batch System Programming Ch. 31 – Simple Robot.

Preview Online Course: Hybrid PLC Mechatronics – Chapter 13 Indexing – Batching Applications
Hybrid PLC Mechatronics – Chapter 13 Indexing – Batching Applications Lab 12
Hybrid PLC Mechatronics – Chapter 13 Indexing – Batching Applications Lab 13
Hybrid PLC Mechatronics – Chapter 13 Indexing – Batching Applications Lab 14
Hybrid PLC Mechatronics – Chapter 13 Indexing – Batching Applications Lab 31
Hybrid PLC Mechatronics – Chapter 13 Indexing – Batching Applications Video Part 1/3
Hybrid PLC Mechatronics – Chapter 13 Indexing – Batching Applications Video Part 2/3
Hybrid PLC Mechatronics – Chapter 13 Indexing – Batching Applications Video Part 3/3

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Chapter 14 OOP

screen shot of computer

OOP is short for Object Oriented Programming and implies an object is the focus of the program. This chapter discusses the use of objects in PLC programming and their use for making programs that are more readable. Siemens FC’s and FB’s (Functions and Function Blocks) are discussed. Accompanying Video: PLC Series Chapter 14 – OOP (40:43) Hybrid Lab Text: Ch. 15 – Siemens FC and FB Programming.

Preview Online Course: Hybrid PLC Mechatronics – Chapter 14 OOP
Hybrid PLC Mechatronics – Chapter 14 OOP Lab
Hybrid PLC Mechatronics – Chapter 14 OOP Video

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Chapter 15 Human Machine Interface

electrical interface

Communications between processor and HMI (human machine interface) is an important subject as well as constructing an operator interface. The chapter includes procedures for attaching computers as HMI devices to the CompactLogix processor from A-B and the Siemens 1200 processor. The basic panels for both manufactures are introduced and explored. Buttons as well as other devices are built. The chapter ends with a discussion of graphics standards and a common problem that I commonly refer as the ‘three-fer’ button. The chapter is a starting point for students needing to learn some graphics before launching their careers. While this chapter begins the broad development of HMI panels, the design of panel interfaces and screen interfaces continue in subsequent chapters, especially the chapter on motion and the chapter on pid control. Accompanying Video: PLC Series Chapter 15 (Part 1/3) – Human Machine Interface (1:15:19) PLC Series Chapter 15 (Part 2/3) – Whopper and Conveyer Lab (Siemens and AB) (2:17:36) PLC Series Chapter 15 (Part 3/3) – Allen-Bradley Factory Talk (22:38) Hybrid Lab Text: Ch. 16 – Human-Machine Interface Programming.

Preview Online Course: Hybrid PLC Mechatronics – Chapter 15 Human Machine Interface
Hybrid PLC Mechatronics – Chapter 15 Human Machine Interface Lab 16
Hybrid PLC Mechatronics – Chapter 15 Human Machine Interface Video Part 1/3
Hybrid PLC Mechatronics – Chapter 15 Human Machine Interface Video Part 2/3
Hybrid PLC Mechatronics – Chapter 15 Human Machine Interface Video Part 3/3

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Chapter 16 Networks and Protocols

diagram

Ethernet, TCP/IP and other networking principles are discussed. It is important for the student to master the principles of networking, however, as they pertain to the factory floor. The use of addresses is discussed when setting up devices. Accompanying Video: PLC Series Chapter 16 – Networks and Protocols (45:01) Hybrid Lab Text: Ch. 17 Various Communication Projects.

Preview Online Course: Hybrid PLC Mechatronics – Chapter 16 Networks and Protocols
Hybrid PLC Mechatronics – Chapter 16 Networks and Protocols Lab 17
Hybrid PLC Mechatronics – Chapter 16 Artificial Intelligence Lab 30
Hybrid PLC Mechatronics – Chapter 16 Networks and Protocols Video

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Chapter 17 Motion

line drawing of mechanical device

This chapter covers the topic of motion control through the PLC to stepper and servo motor devices. Stepper motors are used traditionally for low torque applications with no feedback. The servo on the other hand can handle higher torque applications and requires a feedback device. Accompanying Video: PLC Series Chapter 17 (1/2) – Motion (1:44:23) PLC Series Chapter 17 (2/2) – Allen Bradley Servo Lab (7:30) Hybrid Lab Text: Ch. 18 – Single Axis Stepper Control Ch. 19 – Stepper using 3D Printer Stepper Motor Ch. 20 – Single Axis Servo Control Ch. 29 – Fanuc.

Preview Online Course: Hybrid PLC Mechatronics – Chapter 17 Motion
Hybrid PLC Mechatronics – Chapter 17 Motion Lab 18
Hybrid PLC Mechatronics – Chapter 17 Motion Lab 19
Hybrid PLC Mechatronics – Chapter 17 Motion Lab 20
Hybrid PLC Mechatronics – Chapter 17 Motion Lab 29
Hybrid PLC Mechatronics – Chapter 17 Motion Video Part 1/2
Hybrid PLC Mechatronics – Chapter 17 Motion Video Part 2/2

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Chapter 18 Planning Tasks

screen shot of computer software

From the beginning of this chapter, the discussion has been one of planning to not fail by running out of something. In the case of Charlie and the MTA, it was a nickel that was needed. During the remainder of the chapter, the quantity needed is time. The plan should include enough time to guarantee execution of all programs without failing. The conservative planner usually allows extra time and is more successful in implementing the overall system. Accompanying Video: PLC Series Chapter 18 – Planning Tasks (22:57).

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Chapter 19 Programming the PID Algorithm

electrical diagram

The PID algorithm is used to control an analog process having a single control point and a single feedback signal. The PID algorithm controls the output to the control point so that a setpoint is achieved. The setpoint may be entered as a static variable or as a dynamic variable that is calculated from a mathematical operation. This chapter has the purpose of taking the programmer from the state of asking “What is a PID loop” to being able to program a PID loop, implement a faceplate, consider how more than one PID block can be combined to control complex processes and encourage the programming of at least one PID project complete with tuning and HMI panel. Accompanying Video: PLC Series Chapter 19 (Part 1/5) – Programming the PID Algorithm (1:12:19) PLC Series Chapter 19 (Part 2/5) – Ball and Tube Lab (46:04) PLC Series Chapter 19 (Part 3/5) – Gear Speed Lab (7:52) PLC Series Chapter 19 (Part 4/5) – Tank over Tank A (22:23) PLC Series Chapter 19 (Part 5/5) – Tank over Tank Part B (4:24) Hybrid Lab Text: Ch. 21 – Gear Motor Speed Control – PID Ch. 22 – Ball-in-Tube – PID Ch. 23 – Tape Rewind – PID Ch. 24 – Valve on Wall – PID Ch. 25 – Tank over Tank – PID.

Preview Online Course: Hybrid PLC Mechatronics – Chapter 19 Programming the PID Algorithm
Hybrid PLC Mechatronics – Chapter 19 Programming the PID Algorithm Lab 21
Hybrid PLC Mechatronics – Chapter 19 Programming the PID Algorithm Lab 22
Hybrid PLC Mechatronics – Chapter 19 Programming the PID Algorithm Lab 23
Hybrid PLC Mechatronics – Chapter 19 Programming the PID Algorithm Lab 24
Hybrid PLC Mechatronics – Chapter 19 Programming the PID Algorithm Lab 25
Hybrid PLC Mechatronics – Chapter 19 Programming the PID Algorithm Video Part 1/5
Hybrid PLC Mechatronics – Chapter 19 Programming the PID Algorithm Video Part 2/5
Hybrid PLC Mechatronics – Chapter 19 Programming the PID Algorithm Video Part 3/5
Hybrid PLC Mechatronics – Chapter 19 Programming the PID Algorithm Video Part 4/5
Hybrid PLC Mechatronics – Chapter 19 Programming the PID Algorithm Video Part 5/5

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Chapter 20 Safety Programming in the PLC

image of timeline

In engineering, redundancy is the duplication of critical components or functions of a system with the intention of increasing reliability of the system, usually in the form of a backup or fail-safe, or to improve actual system performance. There is included a major lab demonstrating the implementation of the safe PLC by Siemens. The S7-1200 is used. Accompanying Video: PLC Series Chapter 20 – Safety Programming in the PLC (11:49) Hybrid Lab Text: Ch. 26 – Safety Lab.

Preview Online Course: Hybrid PLC Mechatronics – Chapter 20 Safety Programming in the PLC
Hybrid PLC Mechatronics – Chapter 20 Safety Programming in the PLC Lab 26
Hybrid PLC Mechatronics – Chapter 20 Safety Programming in the PLC Video

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Chapter 21 Artificial Intelligence

illustration of a puzzle

After a look at statistical forecasting methods, an introduction to relational AI is given. Relational AI is at the core of artificial intelligence programming. Introduced are early tests for machine thought processing as well as discussion of various types of machine intelligence. Questions of ethics and scope of use of AI are discussed as well. A problem using a search agent introduces the decision tree search algorithm. The problem introduced to searching a maze is useful throughout the chapter and becomes one of the few programs easily adapted to the PLC for implementation. More sophisticated search methods are also discussed although their implementation is not included. Probability is introduced as a means to choose a best path through a tree. The section on probability includes the development of Bayes’ Theorem and gives examples of its use. More sophisticated examples of problems solved by AI programs are given but not solved since they are not readily implemented in the programming of the standard PLC instruction set. Knowledge-based expert systems must also consider fuzzy logic and neural network systems. Fuzzy logic deals with fuzzy linguistic terms while neural networks can learn using supervised and unsupervised learning. Once considered part of the core of modern AI, fuzzy logic and neural networks are not as popular as at one time and are not considered as a first solution in most AI problems. Accompanying Video: PLC Series Chapter 21 – Artificial Intelligence (44:08) Hybrid Lab Text: Ch. 27 – The Maze Additional Chapters in Hybrid Lab Text Hybrid Lab Text: Ch. 28 – Festo Ch. 30 – Conveyors.

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Hybrid PLC Mechatronics – Chapter 21 Artificial Intelligence Lab 27
Hybrid PLC Mechatronics – Chapter 21 Artificial Intelligence Video

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