Control Platforms Resource Center

Controls engineers need a variety of information on topics such as programmable logic controllers, programmable automation controllers, PC-based control, embedded controls, computer numeric control, control software, network strategies, relays and switches.

Programmable logic controllers have been the staple of machine automation for decades and provide the majority machine logic solutions currently in operation.

PC-based controls offer the advantages of inherent data communication based on today’s Internet-centric TCP/IP protocols, with the ability to perform critical tasks in conjunction with an accompanying real-time operating systems, RTOS, kernel or a plug-in motion controller card.

Newer programmable automation controllers try to offer the best features of both control platforms.

Embedded controls can take the form of single-board computers with some application-specific capabilities or as the emerging field programmable gate array, FPGA, hardware that offers flexible customization and versatility.

Timely news, back-to-basics primers, feature articles, technical white papers and descriptions of the latest products all provide valuable insights that can be used in designing and building machine controls.


  • Five Must-Have Controller Programming Features

    Machine Builders Want Ease-of-Use, Support for Multiple Programming Languages, Ability to Reuse Code, Global Acceptance and the Ability to Accommodate Motion and Robotic Control Along With Traditional PLC Functions

  • Machine Builders Vs. Integrators

    When It’s Time to Install Your Next Production Line, Is It Best to Engage a Machine Builder or an Automation System Integrator as a Partner?

  • Make STEM Teachers ISA Members

    Revive the Spirit of YAPFest for Engineering's Next Generation

  • Remote Machine Support Must Be Everywhere

    Remote monitoring, analysis, support and control is getting more routine and secure, more comprehensive in its scope and capabilities, and may even gather enough data to improve machine designs

White Papers: In Depth Research

  • Download an Industry Guide to Control System Engineering

    Author: AutomationDirect

    This FREE Industry Guide to Control System Engineering has helpful resources and tips for the specification, design and installation of automated control systems.

  • Live Webinar: UL Expert Insights on 508A 2nd Edition

    Author: UL

    The 508A Standard for Industrial Control Panels is the premier document for designing and constructing for compliance with the National Electrical Code. Join UL experts for a 2-hour on-demand webinar and gain an insider's look at the detailed changes relev

  • Effective Implementation of Ethernet Technology in Industrial Applications

    Author: Turck

    This white paper helps users understand the need for enterprise connectivity and various challenges and considerations associated with implementing network protocols. This allows users to select the ideal communication solution need to maximize data acquis

  • Machine Automation Consolidation in a Box

    Author: Intel

    This article discusses how Intel's pre-integrated, pre-validated embedded virtualization product allows customers to merge and manage multiple discrete systems into a single machine. Learn more.