While this article provided some useful information about the power of Programmable Automation Controllers, the constant criticism of PLCs was abolutely out of place and totally unneeded. In addition, while they are more powerful it is very unlikely that any PAC is easier to program than the PLC devices that I have programmed, AB and Automation Direct.
So describing the capabilities of these packages is fine, and knowing that they can include a VS drive and other programmable motion controls is fine, but it is quite likely that the language will require quite a few hours to learn, if it is that much different from what I have used fr several years. So unless the language comes with a very good functions and applications manual there may be quite a few challenges. One more thing is that in those plants that don't have the budget for full time IT staffing, it was often common for a maintenance person to actually understand enough PLC programming to make those needed adjustments. That would probably be much harder with a new type of device running some "wonderful new language".
I'm amazed at the number of options and variations there are on machine controllers. Plus with all of the advanced communication and data handling needs in addition to the control functions, there is really a need for more sophisticated software solutions.
Mr. Bark, you are to be commended for writing a blog that is not a blatant advertisement for your company's products. You've provided a good description of PACs, compared them to PLCs, and not once mentioned your own company's name or product. Your blog informs without advertising, and that makes the company name under your byline stand out.
Using Siemens NX software, a team of engineering students from the University of Michigan built an electric vehicle and raced in the 2013 Bridgestone World Solar Challenge. One of those students blogged for Design News throughout the race.
For industrial control applications, or even a simple assembly line, that machine can go almost 24/7 without a break. But what happens when the task is a little more complex? That’s where the “smart” machine would come in. The smart machine is one that has some simple (or complex in some cases) processing capability to be able to adapt to changing conditions. Such machines are suited for a host of applications, including automotive, aerospace, defense, medical, computers and electronics, telecommunications, consumer goods, and so on. This discussion will examine what’s possible with smart machines, and what tradeoffs need to be made to implement such a solution.