PLCs have steadily increased their responsibility, at first replacing relay systems, then taking over process control and stepping in for motion control, according to Greg Meinert, PLC business manager for Siemens Energy and Automation. Now, by adding safety, PLCs are collapsing everything down to a single platform, Meinert says, reducing engineering, start-up and maintenance. Fail-safe CPUs execute both standard programs and safety functions. They also eliminate a need for separate safety PLCs. Read more about the company's programmable logic controllers at http://rbi.ims.ca/4915-515.
An in-depth survey of 700 current and future users of 3D printing holds few surprises, but results emphasize some major trends already in progress. Two standouts are the big growth in end-use parts and metal additive manufacturing (AM) most respondents expect.
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