Chapter 12: Data Handling
Timers, counters and individual internal relays are all concerned with the handling of individual bits, i.e. single on-off signals. Shift registers involve a number of bits with a group of internal relays being linked (see Chapter 11). The block of data in the register is manipulated. This chapter is about PLC operations involving blocks of data representing a value, such blocks being termed words. A block of data is needed if we are to represent numbers rather than just a single on-off input. Data handling consists of operations involving moving or transferring numeric information stored in one memory word location to another word in a different location, comparing data values and carrying out simple arithmetic operations. For example, there might be the need to compare a numeric value with a set value and initiate action if the actual value is less than the set value. This chapter is an introductory discussion of such operations.
12.1 Registers and Bits
A register is where data can be stored (see Section 8.1 for an initial discussion of registers). In a PLC there are a number of such registers. Each data register can store a binary word of usually 8 or 16 bits. The number of bits determines the size of the number that can be stored. The binary system uses only two symbols, 0 and 1 (see Chapter 3). Thus we might have the 4-bit number 1111. This is the denary number, i.e. the familiar number system based on 10...