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  1. Hello, I'm looking into getting into PLCs, I have worked on things like Arduinos and other electronics. In my line of work I keep coming across PLCs and I think it would be best if I knew more about them. So my friend and I are planning on doing a PLC based project but we are a bit stuck on deciding what PLC brand to purchase. For now we are looking into Automation Direct Productivity2000 series and IDEC MicroSmart Pentra.  We have very little experience with PLCs so the Automation Direct stuff looks tempting but I'm afraid of investing money and time into something that wont translate over to industrial standards (software, logic, etc...) I came across this site while researching PLCs and wanted to ask: With your hindsight and knowledge of the industry, what PLC would you pick for someone that is starting out and wants to a project that will help them gain knowledge of the industry?   Thank you for your time, Hector
  2. Starting Multiple Motors / Pumps

    Greetings, We (in the steel industry) have many pumps / motors (large and small).  Generally we use soft-starts,  cross-line starters (E3+) or even Flex drives. There may be several motors in a pool to start where we need only say 2 of 3 to be running at any one time  When it's time to start them, we may need to stagger start them, if one fails, the spare may need to start.  My question to the group is... Are there any philosophies out there (and hopefully pseudo or actual code) as to how to start a subset of motors/pumps within a pool of motors and maintain the configuration running ? I appreciate any and all comments. David