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Hy Guys

I'm looking to diversify my Project management profile and i want to contribute/manage more in Projects with PLC & Automation aspects. (I'm a Project engineer in industrial construction projects, Eg, Pipings, Metallic structures and civil engineering). My questions are:

1) What i should do first
2) From where should i start (You know that PLC usages/braches/technologies are many..)
3) If there are any pritorization in learnning/practicing topics (espeacially the most important/popular Basics needed in nowadays industries/domains..)

I need really your expereinces !

Thanks in advance.

Alaa Edine SMAALI
Energy (Oil&Gas) Project Engineer



Do you know electricity? Do you know any kind of programming? Understanding basic electricity when used in PLCs would be the first. Stuff like the different kinds of voltages, circuits and how sensors transmit values to be read to the PLC would be the first element to consider.

You can read from this book a lot about it.


Then I'd start from a PLC platform that you can test. Automation Direct has simple PLCs and included a simulator you can use to test logic. This should teach you ladder. To learn more advanced stuff, you then could pick up Codesys and learn other languages whilst being able to run it in your laptop.

The major brands don't have a lot of options for you to download and play with, but the principles will be the same.

On the other hand if you use DCS systems (Honeywell, DeltaV, Yokogawa, etc...) then these usually are not avialable for you to download and play.


A lot of technicians I work with who want to learn PLC's start here, https://plc-training.org/plc-basics-training.html
The site has good basic info and lays out a pretty good foundation. Feedback from the techs I point here has always been good.

This site has lots of great info and also a good basic PLC intro, http://www.plcs.net/
I use this site myself a lot, and where I started when moving into PLC's

If you have PLC's from a specific manufacturer, many of them have sites with tutorials specific to their product lines.

Hope that helps, MikeL.


If you're project management, why do you want to bit bang I/O PLC logic? Don't you hire people for that? IsMakingATagNameForIOLIT-203Fun?

Here are topics off the top of my head that that might interest automation/controls management:
- DCS vs PLC - different philosophies of implementation, control and support
- standardization - when does it make sense not to standardize?
- network security/cyber security - or how to keep the fingers from pointing at me
- HMI, SCADA, or how do we interface to all that stuff?
- whose color scheme is to be used on the HMI screens?
- OEM or 3rd party?
- panel design for reduction of Arc Flash danger
- pros and cons of digital communications with field instruments/sensors
- Grounding - why so much hassle with ground loops, isn't the site equipotential?
- scope creep (not the oscilloscope, the project)
- dealing with vendor lag for Windows updates for the software
- software license management
- fitting all the work into a turnaround
- record handling for all those certs

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