Remember when PLC was an acronym that stood for logic control and programmability? No more. Today's PLCs are a different animal, says Himanshu Shah, senior analyst for the ARC Advisory Group.
In a special report on the research firm's website (www.arcweb.com), Shah asserts that the worldwide market for PLCs is surging because fast-growing regions and expanding applications outside of manufacturing.
Shah says nano PLCs are finding their way into the relay-replacement market, while micro PLCs are "riding on the recovery in the machine-tool market." In his report, Shah says users prefer PLC-based, application-specific solutions "because the PLC is a standard almost off-the-shelf, known-to-be-reliable automation component."
Shah also says the threat that PCs posed to PLCs has passed. PLCs today contain PC-based technologies that boost their functionality.
As to geographic areas where PLCs have the most potential for growth, he points to China, Eastern Europe, Russia, India, and Brazil. Their populations are demanding automobiles, processed food and beverages, infrastructure facilities, and appliances. Additionally, he says, PLCs are finding several applications outside discrete manufacturing.
See the full report on www.arcweb.com.
PLCs, like these from Omron, are likely to grow in use and variety of applications, according to a recent study.