Technology has made inroads into all aspects of production. Today, industrial automation controls are able to do so much more than just turn equipment on and off and allow for central operator control from a console rather than from the equipment itself.
There are several different options to choose from in automation controls. Not all control options are the best match for all facilities and applications. Additionally, the latest in technology may not be the most cost-effective for some types of facilities and control requirements.
Knowing how to match the best industrial automation controls with the needs of the facility is critical. By working with an experienced, reputable industrial automation company, you can review the options and understand why a specific type of control is being recommended for your facility.
Programmable Logic Controllers (PLCs)
PLCs have been used for a considerable amount of time as the industrial automation controls of choice for many applications. This is a combination of a microprocessor and a memory that works with many different programming languages and can be used across a wide variety of equipment.
These are also systems that are designed for production and manufacturing facilities. They operate in high and low temperatures, they are resistant to electromagnetic interference (EMI) plus they are very durable even when vibration or shock may be of concern.
PC-based control is just as it sounds, but it offers some of the most flexible options. This is sometimes referred to as soft motion control as it allows for customization of the programming throughout the system at any time.
These are very secure systems and can handle very large types of facilities through partitions in the hard drive core to operate different components of the system in an integrated fashion.
Programmable Automation Controllers (PACs)
The PACs of today are very powerful and offer the same basic features of the PLCs with some additional benefits. They can work with different connection types, different programming languages and they can also work on dedicated processors, so they are ideal for the very large operations where multiple systems and equipment have to be managed.
It can be complicated to find the best-automated controller type. Understanding the pros and cons of each with your specific situation will be instrumental in making the right choice.