Online education has gained an incredible momentum lately. This is due to many advantages it offers, especially for busy students. With education funding being tight and our increasingly fast paced lives, universities and colleges are quickly moving more and more towards online learning, leaving behind the old traditional models of learning in classrooms.

Programmable Logic Controllers (PLCs) are used in almost all industrial processes and are an integral part of a nations industry and manufacturing infrastructure.  Power grids, water treatment plants and traffic lights are just a few of the parts of infrastructure that are controlled by PLCs.  To monitor these systems a Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition (SCADA) interface is used.

The adoption of robotics in industry continues to grow at a very rapid pace.  “Between 2005 and 2008, the average annual number of robots sold was about 115,000 units. Between 2010 and 2014, the number rose to about 171,000 units…an increase of about 48%.” (  Robots were first introduced in the 1970’s in a manufacturing capacity, initially in assembly lines for automobiles.

Fifty years ago – perhaps even as few as twenty – the idea that one day post-secondary courses would be taught in a virtual classroom rather than one surrounded by bricks and mortar would seem preposterous. The fact that online courses are being offered by pretty much every major educational institution is proof positive that what might be considered strange or impossible one day can become common place just a few years later. 

Probably the most common question that we get from potential PLC students is “what’s the difference between our PLC and PLC Technician II Certificate programs?”

The answer is a bit technical but we’ll try to keep it short and simple.

Programmable Logic Controllers , also known as PLCs, are robust industrial electronic systems used for controlling a wide variety of mechanical systems and applications.

So how common are PLCs why are they so important?

Taking an online training program is a new experience for most of our students. How do I access the content of the program, how do I take an exam, or how do I interact with the college are typical examples of the kinds of questions that run through a student`s mind. To a first- timer of online learning it may seem a bit scary and complicated but rest assured it really is very straightforward and simple.  To demonstrate how easy, here’s a sneak peak of what it’s like to be a student in one of the GBCTechTraining programs.

Today’s maintenance managers face many different and growing challenges. They’re helping factories build more complicated products using increasingly sophisticated equipment with faster production schedules that demand streamlined preventative maintenance cycles. Throw in an older, retiring workforce that is leaving a sizeable skills gap and an influx in the number of manufacturing facilities competing for new talent. All of these factors combined create some serious issues coming up that affect the manufacturing maintenance industry over the next decade.

The George Brown College Centre for Continuous Learning is pleased to announce the launch of the Automation Technician Certificate, our newest online technical training program.

It’s Tuesday and you’ve been asked to work on a new program for one of the PLCs in your plant that needs to be completed by the end of the week. This is a slightly different type of PLC than you’ve worked with previously and you’re dealing with a bit of a learning curve. Thankfully, one of the friends that you’ve met in your PLC Technician program at George Brown College works at a plant that has been using this PLC model for years and has agreed to help you.