Jeff Payne


PLCs, PACs May 2, 2024

Back to the future of the PLC

Programmable logic controllers (PLCs) are not going away any time soon, and improving technologies combined with user demands will continue their evolution as a foundational automation platform.

By Jeff Payne
Industrial PCs January 5, 2017

How to choose the best controller for each application

Cover Story: Consider the features and typical applications for industrial controllers to understand what type of controller fits each application. Do you need a programmable logic controller (PLC), programmable automation controller (PAC), or industrial PC (IPC)? See comparison tables for PLCs, PACs, and IPCs.

By Jeff Payne
PLM, Control Design December 23, 2015

IEC 61131-3: What’s the acceptance rate of this control programming standard?

Cover story, automation upgrades: Although the IEC 61131-3 standard for control programming languages has been around for nearly 25 years, limited awareness of its scope and features has kept it from becoming a requirement in North America.

By Jeff Payne
Industrial PCs November 17, 2015

Convergence of PACs, PLCs, IPCs

There are three common types of machine or process controllers: PLCs, PACs, and IPCs. Here’s how to select the best one for your application.

By Jeff Payne
Discrete Manufacturing August 26, 2014

Future of the PLC

PLCs are evolving and continue to be the best option for a variety of industrial automation applications. Greater programming flexibility and ease, scalability, more memory, smaller sizes, very high-speed (Gigabit) Ethernet, and built-in wireless are among evolving programmable logic controller features.

By Jeff Payne
Data Acquisition, DAQ June 6, 2014

Integrating HMIs with PLCs and PACs

Understanding the differences among controllers is essential when designing an automation system.

By Jeff Payne
Mobility October 11, 2013

Selecting the right SCADA technology

Modern SCADA technologies offer choices that satisfy functionality and security requirements while improving performance for remote users.

By Jeff Payne
Control Systems February 4, 2013


These technologies continue to evolve, making differences harder to distinguish. Here are some thoughts on what does what, and how to choose between a PLC and a PAC for your next application.

By Jeff Payne
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