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How to learn PLC technology languages

The PLC languages themselves are fairly similar between different manufacturers. You basically have ladder logic (which looks like a relay contact map), function blocks (which are more akin to an electronic circuit overview) and structured language (of which there are several variants. Most look a lot like high-level programming languages). You might encounter some functions having different names or in-/outputs between manufacturers but most of them look much the same. They have the same functionality although complex programming is easier in structured code. If you have worked with high-level programming, you might want to take a look at structured languages first as these will likely feel familiar.

As for ease-of-use, I usually recommend the larger manufacturers; not because these have the best, cheapest or easiest software but because they have very substantial and comprehensive online support which, for a beginner, is more helpful than a cheap program. The big companies such as Siemens, Schneider, ABB and Rockwell all have very comprehensive online help, programming examples and guides as well as manuals available. Most also have "starter-kits" of their software and hardware available although these of course require some form of budget.

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