Every industry looking at using automation and networking uses computers. But suitable control system solutions are generally difficult to come by. While some companies have unique requirements, it also puts a lot of strain on the control system. A standard desktop computer is incapable of meeting all of these requirements. This is where PLCs come to the rescue.
What is a Programmable Logic Controller (PLC)?
A Programmable Logic Controller is primarily a one-of-a-kind computer device containing a microprocessor. It’s a command system that uses user-defined instructions to control input and output from a variety of devices. This system can be used in almost any application since user commands govern how the system directs output devices. Its durable design allows it to survive harsh industrial conditions such as high temperatures and humidity, unexpected electrical fluctuations, and severe vibrations.
Why are PLCs so popular in industrial settings?
PLCs are ideal for manufacturers since they are designed primarily for industrial use. They have the following benefits:
Can handle multiple tasks
PCs and mobile devices are designed to do numerous functions at once. A programmable logic controller, on the other hand, does just one duty but with greater dependability, is not limited by Windows, and requires minimum maintenance.
Great input/output capabilities
PLCs give a greater variety of alternatives than traditional computers and locating PLC hardware capable of handling extra input/output is quite simple. Users can also pick from a variety of possible interfaces.
Protection from extraordinary conditions
A standard PC lacks features that protect it from factors such as heat, cold, and dust. A PLC controller, on the other hand, has several built-in capabilities that enable it to readily withstand the harsh conditions of the industry.
Quick response time
PLCs are made for real-time and high-speed applications. The programmable controller works in real-time, which implies that an occurrence in the field will cause an operation or output to be performed.
PLCs are cheaper alternatives
Even if you spend on custom software development, a PLC is far less expensive than the components required to perform the same functions. While this is incentive enough to consider PLCs, the fact that they are more efficient increases savings.
PLCs are much more flexible
The user program, rather than the order in which the inputs and outputs are connected, determines the relationships between them in a PLC. Original equipment makers can simply send out new software to deliver system upgrades. End-users can change the application in the field, and security can be given via hardware features like key locks and software passwords if required.
PLCs are more resistant to malware assaults due to their restricted functionality and specific operating system.
Errors can be detected early
Simulation functions are included by default in PLC programming tools. Overall project quality may be enhanced by testing early in the development process. Because software defects may be recognized and addressed early in the development process, installation and commissioning can be faster and less expensive.
There are several advantages to software-based PLCs, but networking, safety, and cost savings are among the most significant. PLCs increase productivity in almost any process, and that is why they are indispensable to industries.