New Mechatronics Test Launched

May 29, 2015
The pilot testing period for the ‘PLCs 2’ test, a part of PMMI’s Mechatronics Certificate Program, is open through July 3. In addition to having a chance to earn the PMMI Mechatronics Certificate, participants also have a shot at winning one of three prizes.

In April, we reported on the launch of the “Motors and Motors Control” test as part of the Mechatronics Certificate Program from PMMI—the Association for Packaging and Processing Technologies (the parent company of Automation World). Programs such as this are proving to be increasingly important as industry works to train the labor force needed not just for tomorrow’s manufacturing industry, but today’s.

Following the “Motor and Motors Control” test announcement, PMMI has more recently launched its “PLCs 2” pilot test. Participants who receive a passing score on this pilot test will receive the PMMI Mechatronics certificate for “PLCs 2” at no charge. This pilot test is open now and runs through July 3.

Domains and competencies covered in the “PLCs 2” test include:
Hardware and Device Safety — including topics such as machine and operator safety in the event of a PLC failure, safety implications when using the force function of a PLC, and fail safe hardwire circuitry.
* PLC Hardware and Field Devices — covering issues such as replacement of I/O cards while the machine is powered, functions of I/O configuration, troubleshooting remote I/O, and industrial network options.
* PLC Operation — detailing practices such as creating and operating a program to measure processor scan time, IEC 61131-3 programming languages, using a PLC to troubleshoot a machine, and PLC file management and backups.
* Program Control, Math Functions and Data Handling — addressing topics such as the significance and limitations of memory configuration, program flow control instructions, using a mask to modify data, and the purpose of function blocks.
* Sensors and Analog Operations—exploring issues such as the function of analog input and output scaling, how to determine if an input or output module is functioning properly, analog signal types, and the effects of noise on an analog signal.
* Graphic HMI — including use of RS232/RS485 to connect an HMI and a PLC, transfer of data types between a PLC and an HMI, dynamic screen objects, alarm history, and troubleshooting screen objects.
* Industrial Network Communications — covering topics such as device, cell and enterprise networks, setting up a serial communications driver, security safeguarding issues, IP address configuration, and troubleshooting loss of data communications.
* Advanced PLC Applications — detailing issues such as open versus closed loop systems, PID control loops within a PLC, the difference between process and control variables, motion control system architectures, and the differences between incremental and absolute encoders.

View the “PLCs 2” test topics in greater detail at the PMMI website.

In addition to receiving the “PLCs 2” PMMI Mechatronics Certificate—for those participants who pass the test—all participants who complete the pilot test will be entered into a drawing to win one of three prizes: an Xbox One, Bose noise cancelling headphones, and an iPad Mini.

For more information about the PMMI Mechatronics Certificate Program, visit

Click here to participate in the “PLCs 2” pilot test.

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