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.
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.
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.
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.
Understanding the differences among controllers is essential when designing an automation system.
Modern SCADA technologies offer choices that satisfy functionality and security requirements while improving performance for remote users.
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.