PLC Meaning: Here’s What It Means and How to Use It

Wondering what PLC stands for? If so, you’re in the right place! Read on as we explore the meaning of PLC, its usage, and more.

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In today’s digital society, we rely on automated machinery to perform a number of industrial processes, from weaving fabric to generating electricity and just about everything in between. 

Automation technology has provided us with the ability to scale new heights of production and innovation — but truth be told, our current level of automation wouldn’t be possible without an important invention called the programmable logic controller (aka PLC). 

What Is the Definition of PLC?

A programmable logic controller or PLC is an industrial computer used in manufacturing and various other automation environments to control electromechanical processes. PLCs are widely used in numerous industries. 

This is due chiefly to the fact that they are relatively easy to program (if you happen to be a programmer, that is). Another is how fast and easy they are to operate. The functions of a PLC are divided primarily into three group:; the CPU, the inputs, and the outputs.

One of the key reasons why most programmers agree PLCs are easy to program is because they can be programmed in a variety of ways, from ladder logic (which uses electromagnetic relays) to programming languages like Sequential Function Charts, Ladder Diagram, Structured Text, Instruction List, and Function Block Diagram.

PLCs vary not only in programmable languages but in size as well, some fitting in the back pocket of an employee while others require heavy-duty mounts and racks.

The programmable logic controller also acts as a physical interface between devices on the floor and the HMI or SCADA systems put in place. The human-machine interface (HMI) is required by the plc for things like alarm reporting, configuration, and every day control.

What Are There Other Meanings for the Abbreviation PLC?

If we look to Your Dictionary (or other various unabridged dictionaries around the globe), the abbreviation PLC has quite the range of meanings. Let’s clear things up a bit, shall we? 

The abbreviation is widely used in the U.K. and Ireland as the legal term Public limited company. Under United Kingdom and the Republic of Ireland’s company law, PLC is a type of public company. 

For a public company, the use of PLC after the name of a company is absolutely mandatory, and as such, some of the brands we know today actually have a formal name, including the abbreviation PLC. 

For example, the U.K. oil company Shell was formerly known as Royal Dutch Shell plc from 2005 till the beginning of 2022 (now simply Shell plc). 

Fun fact for the reader: Every company that is listed on the London Stock Exchange is a public limited company. 

In the United States, this would be the equivalent of a company carrying an “inc.” designator.

In 1928 AT&T Bell Telephone Laboratories developed a type of technology that allowed electrical power companies to use eclectic power lines to transmit telecommunications data — PLC or Power Line Communications. 

Power line communications are still used to this day, just on a smaller scale, in select applications where low-speed data transmission is acceptable.

Does the Acronym PLC Stand for Anything Else?

Although the acronym PLC is widely known as programmable logic controller, PLC does have a few other meanings. As always, it’s best practice to use the full form of words if you think people might be confused. 

In doing so you will set your peers up for success and avoid any confusion that may have arisen if you hadn’t.

Provided in part by The Free Dictionary, we have included a few of PLC’s various meanings below:

  • Peace love, and care
  • Phospholipase c
  • Prince lucien campbell
  • Pymble ladies college
  • Patrol leader council
  • Personalized localized customized
  • Potentially loyal customer
  • Programmable logic controller
  • Pathfinding learning center
  • Presbyterian ladies college
  • Platoon leaders class
  • Programmable learning center
  • Planar lightwave circuit
  • Private limited company
  • Power line carrier
  • Powerline communication 
  • Public limited company (public company)

How Can We Use PLC in a Sentence?

The abbreviation PLC can be seen in a large number of sentences due to its vast amount of meanings and uses. Quiz yourself on how many ways you can properly use PLC in a sentence today! 

Doing so not only reinforces what we have just discussed but can also be a fun way to help memorize all sorts of new words and acronyms. 

Here are a few example sentences to get you started:

We learned a good bit about power line communication today, I was most intrigued at how PLC transmits data as well as energy to customers.

I wish you PLC my friend — Peace, Love, and Care.

I cherished my time at the PLC boarding school, while at Pymble Ladies’ College I made countless unforgettable memories!

The audit committee consists of non-executive directors in all plcs as well as large private companies.


From an industrial computer to a public company to colleges, the acronym PLC is used by many and has quite an array of meanings. We hope after this article and your newly acquired knowledge of all the meanings behind PLC, none of its varying meanings will catch you off guard.


  1. PLC | The Free Dictionary 
  2. PLC Definition and Meaning | Collins English Dictionary 
  3. What Does PLC Mean? | Your Dictionary