T-Series PLCs from Toshiba now have low-cost operator interface stations (OIS) that need no wiring or programming. Available in two models--OIS 10 and OIS 15--the interfaces have cables that plug directly into the PLC's RS232 port, from which they draw their power. All messages and other actions are saved in the PLC or register memory, eliminating the need for programming. The OIS 10 displays two lines of up to 16 characters per line, while the OIS 15 displays four lines of up to 16 characters per line. With either, messages are limited in length only by the available PLC memory and can consist of flashing alphanumeric alarms, embedded register values, bar graphs, or other information. The OIS 10 has six user-definable keys and two user-definable LEDs; the OIS 15 offers eight keys and four LEDs. Toshiba International, Product Code 4302.
Dow Chemical and several other companies have launched a program in Omaha, Neb. to divert about 36 tons of plastics from landfills in its first phase, and convert it into energy used for cement production.
Both traditional automation companies and startups are developing technologies to improve processes on the factory floor, while smart sensors and other IoT-related technologies are improving how products are handled during transport and across the supply chain.
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