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Acronyms Are Hard: PLC and HMI

By November 9, 2017 July 23rd, 2019 No Comments

Acronyms Are Hard: PLC and HMI

Acronyms can be hard. When jumping in between a few different industries, these seemingly harmless terms can lead to confusion, mass hysteria, or worse potential problems with the end result.

To set a baseline in order to make sure that we are all on the same page, we’ll start from the beginning:


A PLC is a Programmable Logic Controller. It’s a long term to describe a box of hardware and software inside it that is designed to replace relays and timers that everyone was using until Dick Morley invented and started mass producing PLC’s “Modicon” in 1968.

To say this was a revolutionary is an understatement.

Would we be out of line to point to this as a major building block in what we are now calling Industrial Revolution 4.0? If we would, then it doesn’t matter, because this is our blog!

So the PLC is the basis of everything that do, and in addition to Ladder Logic, the most common language used to program PLC’s, which can be found in the IEC61131-3. Want to know more about the programming languages, how we use them, and when we use each of the different types? Let us know and we’ll get someone to talk more about them.


Is a Human Machine Interface, a really fancy sounding term for a touch screen that allows you to interact with a machine. The right programming will allow an HMI to show you the important things that you need to see and interact with live. Bad programming will overload you with information, both good and bad, plus it will allow your operators to touch and adjust things that  you wouldn’t want them to be able to on the fly.

So either program the HMI correctly or let us know what you are looking for and we’ll help you design the layout, then set the screens up for you. Depending on the type of HMI and the software that you’re using, the software, features, and programming languages can vary as well.

Generally, Corso follows the High Performance HMI programming viewpoint, the goal being to give you the most intuitive, best performing interfaces. If you want to learn more, we highly recommend checking out The High Performance HMI Handbook.

Stay Tuned for more Acronyms Are Hard.