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In "Debating, finding the appropriate control method" [Application Update, CE, May '01, p. 20], a former electrical engineer with our company offered his personal views on "soft" PLCs. This individual's statements do not reflect the facts or our company's policies. In fact, he approached your magazine without our company's knowledge and without any review or approval of the material.

07/01/2001


In "Debating, finding the appropriate control method" [Application Update, CE, May '01, p. 20], a former electrical engineer with our company offered his personal views on "soft" PLCs. This individual's statements do not reflect the facts or our company's policies. In fact, he approached your magazine without our company's knowledge and without any review or approval of the material. As a result, much of the information he provided was inaccurate or misleading.

Contrary to the impression given in this article, there is no "either/or" controversy within R.A Jones & Co. over the type of controls that we offer our customers. Jones made a decision to offer a choice to customers—traditional hardware-based PLCs or software-based PLCs.

The article was correct in stating that Jones has made a significant investment in software-based PLC controls, but incorrect in stating that current sales do not justify this investment. Jones' management, including engineering and marketing, considered soft PLCs a long-term investment—a vital, integral element of our company's commitment to providing customers with multiple options. The software-based PLCs have only been available to our customers since the introduction of a new generation of machines that Jones introduced at the PackExpo International Show in November 2000. We are pleased with order levels to date, and we are closely monitoring our customers' experiences with the soft PLCs, which are performing to expectations. This soft PLC is deterministic, can be validated, and does not operate in the Windows environment.

Jones works with our customers to decide which control scheme best meets their particular needs.


Author Information

Richard Stachel, business unit director, Electrical Controls/Robotic Engineering, R.A Jones & Co.




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