Electronic operator stations have become more capable and more well-accepted additions to PLC-based control during the last 10 years. However, the standard electronic operator station still functions primarily as a replacement for hardwired traditional control panel devices like pushbuttons and lamps: it gets status updates from a PLC and permits operators to make simple entries. But the operator still has to survey all status information and make all of the decisions. What if the operator station could also present action suggestions which were context-sensitive, to lead an operator through a necessary series of steps?A new “Guided Operator Station” approach to operator station design and function is now available: giving the operator station the power to use PLC status information to select sequences of actions to be presented to operators. Such a system can guide an otherwise untrained operator through a correct sequence for machine startup or fault diagnostics, without extensive additional programming in the PLC.