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Programmable Logic Controllers Paperback – 24 Sep 2009

4.0 out of 5 stars 14 customer reviews

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About the Author

W. Bolton has worked in industry, as well as academia as a senior lecturer in a College of Technology, a member of the Nuffield Advanced Physics team, adviser on British Government Aid project to Brazil on technical education, UNESCO consultant in Argentina and Thailand, Head of Research and Development at the Business and Technician Education Council, now retired. He has written many engineering textbooks including: Mechatronics 4th ed. Engineering Science 5th ed. Higher Engineering Science 2nd ed. Mechanical Science 3rd ed. Instrumentation and Control Systems.


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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
As a software engineer specialising in high-integrity systems and newly working on a safety controller project, I got this book to familiarise myself rapidly with PLCs and how they are used. What struck me immediately is how dated the book is. Almost all of the examples use ladder diagrams at a time when these are increasingly seen as outdated and being replaced by Function Block programs or Sequential Function Charts.

Ladder diagrams have the crippling disadvantage that they lack the formal semantics that can be provided for more modern programming formalisms. Thus the only viable forms of verification are simulation and testing. Nowadays this is a long way removed from best practice, especially for safety controllers, where formal verification is now starting to be used. Today anyone programming a safety controller in ladder diagrams is deliberately choosing to ignore better, safer techniques. A PLC textbook that gives almost all of its examples in LDs therefore, IMO, fails to serve its readers well.

While the author's prose style is basically clear, his exposition is excruciatingly repetitive, often giving three or four LD examples when it would be much better if it gave equivalent examples in different PLC programming formalisms. The grinding repetition left me wondering what sort of minds (mentalities?) the book was written for.

Many diagrams are mislabelled and often the diagrams referred to in one text section actually appear in another. This smacks of desperate, shoddy editing to get out the current fifth edition of a book that is in my view now moribund in its field.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
The author clearly aims to cover every base possible. What could be a very good book is let down by schoolboy errors, typo's and some examples that could never work in real life. It looks like a rush job, in so much as it appears not to be have been proof read, if it has then the proof reader wants shooting. I like the coverage of different PLC vendor's programming techniques, but any positives are negated by the silly errors. As an ex electrician, and now designer, just as any engineer would comment, I would say that a technical publication needs to be accurate, namely factually correct. This book isn't and I must say that I find it very poor that an academic/engineer can allow a document such as this to go public with the amount of errors riddled through out its text. I spent a long time looking at examples trying to work out whether they were correct or not, and thus grew to distrust a lot of the material presented. The presentation of flip flops was poor in my view (JK, D type, etc) and took a long time to work through, which should normally be quite straight forward.

There is a lot of good stuff in this book, but it is so terribly let down, in what looks like a rush or "amateur job"
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Format: Paperback
I have found this to be an excellent book. The manor in which it is presented (by adding to foundational principles) makes it very readable. It would be very difficult not to get a sound understanding of the subject.
In addition to this, I find the summary and problems at the end of each section very helpful. Highly recommended!
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I am an experienced industrial programmer (in higher level languages such as C etc.) but found this book just right to give a good grounding to allow me to read and understand ladder logic code etc. quickly for a couple of recent code maintenance projects. There's always stuff to learn and there's things to catch you out even on simple 'seal in' circuits so its worth skimming through the questions at the end of each chapter. I actually bought a small PLC as well to help get to grips ASAP, but that is not necessary. If you have to deal with more than one PLC family this book carefully shows the differences in terminology. Also covers the IEC61131 standard terminology and methods pretty well: LAD, SFC, FBD, ST, and IL
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Format: Paperback
Book is good for basic as well as advanced PLC users.
I've bought a few PLC books but this is definitely the most comprehensive and useful
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book has proved an invaluable aid in my line of work.

Recommended for anyone using PLCs for the first time or those returning to programming after a break.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Good as a basic guide to the theory for beginners. If you have a background in electronics and understand logic principles this will offer little new insight.
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