Applications that lend themselves to PC based control
Automation applications come in many sizes and flavors. There are classes of applications that lend themselves well to PC based solutions. (And many that don’t).
When an application is limited to simple digital I/O functions, there is not much reason to consider a PC based solution. PLC’s excel in such applications, so there is no reason to avoid the obvious choice. Pick a suitable PLC and do the job.
When any of the following complications arise, consider a PC in the system.
- Large quantities of data
- Communication requirements
- Connections to barcode readers, id tag readers, etc.
- Connections to printers or marking systems
- Connections to auxiliary test equipment
- Network connectivity
- Presentation of data or information
- Model storage and selection
- Database requirements
- Complex supervisory control
- Motion control systems that require supervisory control.
When any of the above conditions exist, I start to look for a way to put a PC in the system. Many times a PC based operator interface is the logical choice.