Control Platforms Show Breadth

PLC Is Still Dominant, but PACs and PCs Have Their Admirers

The PLC is king of controllers for machine control platforms, but it’s not the only game in town. According to a recent Control Design survey, two-thirds of respondents said they primarily use PLCs. Both PACs and PC-based controls are each used by 13% of the participants in the survey. Embedded-board controls are used by only 5%.

Although PCs are receiving attention, 32% of the respondents who said they use PCs don’t use them for motion control. One-quarter of those same participants said they use PCs, but with an installed motion card, while 21% said they use PC-based controls only. The dominant operating system for these users is XP, selected by more than 77% of respondents. Other operating systems receiving mention included Vista, QNX, CE and even proprietary operating systems.

Surprisingly, 40% of surveyed PLC users aren’t using it for motion, but 30% do use it for all their motion control and 27% said they use it with a motion card connected.

The overwhelming language of choice was ladder logic, used by 87% of participants. Function block and structured text are used by 46% and 32% of respondents, respectively. Instruction list and sequential function chart each received 16% of the votes.

Sixty-one percent of the survey respondents said they use an integrated platform for which a single programming environment handles all required functions including control, HMI, I/O and motion.

Modular Controller series PID modules support ramp/soak control and provide multi-zone PID control, data acquisition and I/O for PC, DCS or PLC control systems, while integrating data logging and advanced alarm management. PLC ADD-ON
Modular Controller series PID modules support ramp/soak control and provide multi-zone PID control, data acquisition and I/O for PC, DCS or PLC control systems, while integrating data logging and advanced alarm management.
Red Lion Controls
717/767-6511
Adam-5550KW programmable automation controller (PAC) is designed to control tasks that require the features of both PLCs and industrial PCs. PAC
Adam-5550KW programmable automation controller (PAC) is designed to control tasks that require the features of both PLCs and industrial PCs. It uses the AMD Geode GX533 CPU with control-specific features such as a watchdog timer, battery backup RAM and deterministic I/O.
Advantech, Industrial Automation Group
800/205-7940
Three small Ethernet TCP/IP PLCs are built for the Bus Terminal I/O system. ETHERNET PLC
Three small Ethernet TCP/IP PLCs are built for the Bus Terminal I/O system. BC9020 and BC9120 models offer more program and data memory than BC9050. BC9120 has two Ethernet ports that act as a two-channel switch. The I/O stations can be configured with a line topology instead of a traditional star topology.
Beckhoff Automation
952/890-0000
EC31-HMI/RTX controller for the Simatic S7-mEC modular controller system simplifies configuration and minimizes installation costs by combining controller and HMI functions in a single solution. TURNKEY SOLUTION
EC31-HMI/RTX controller for the Simatic S7-mEC modular controller system simplifies configuration and minimizes installation costs by combining controller and HMI functions in a single solution. With WinAC RTX 2008 and WinCC Flexible software preinstalled, it accommodates plant-wide data, process visualization and control functions in an open platform.
Siemens Energy & Automation
800/241-4463
CJ2H programmable automation controller and CX-One integrated software tool v. 3.0 handle motion, process and logic control, process simulation and network configuration. MODULAR PAC
CJ2H programmable automation controller and CX-One integrated software tool v. 3.0 handle motion, process and logic control, process simulation and network configuration. With built-in EtherNet/IP interoperability and common tag database programming stored in CPU memory, the PAC enables machine builders to communicate using EtherNet/IP tag data links to legacy systems from other manufacturers.
Omron Industrial Automation
868/88-omron
The 12 Vdc MicroSmart Pentra uses a traditional brick design with 10, 16 or 24 built-in I/Os. SOLID BRICK
The 12 Vdc MicroSmart Pentra uses a traditional brick design with 10, 16 or 24 built-in I/Os. Functions include an optional communication module to configure up to seven serial devices, connecting HMI, PC, barcode readers, RFID equipment, AV controllers and more.
IDEC
800/262-4332
Speedway 767 I/O system combines the power of a PLC, the modularity of distributed I/O and IP67-grade protection. CABINET-FREE PLC
Speedway 767 I/O system combines the power of a PLC, the modularity of distributed I/O and IP67-grade protection. It provides discrete manufacturing and process control sectors with an entire control network, including PLC and distributed I/O that is machine-mountable.
Wago
262/255-6222
PLC-on-a-card can handle 64 axes for complex motion control applications, with curves calculated online, multi-axis interpolation and kinematic transformation.
PLC-ON-A-CARD
PLC-on-a-card can handle 64 axes for complex motion control applications, with curves calculated online, multi-axis interpolation and kinematic transformation. It has Ethernet interfaces and is programmed using the IEC 61131 multi-language environment and PLCopen-compliant function blocks.
SEW-Eurodrive
864/439-7537
NanoLine small programmable controller/relay with Ethernet connectivity, a removable operator display and flow chart programming is designed for small to midsize machines that require few I/O points.
SMALL PLC
NanoLine small programmable controller/relay with Ethernet connectivity, a removable operator display and flow chart programming is designed for small to midsize machines that require few I/O points. Base station controllers are available in 24 Vdc, 24 Vac/dc and 115 Vac.
Phoenix Contact
800/322-3225
MotionWorks IEC Mechatronic control system software is fully compatible with IEC 61131-3 and PLCopen.
MOTION CONTROL
MotionWorks IEC Mechatronic control system software is fully compatible with IEC 61131-3 and PLCopen. MP23002300Siec controller has EtherNet/IP, Modbus TCP/IP and Mechatrolink network connectivity for up to 16 axes of motion control. An integrated Web server makes troubleshooting easier.
Yaskawa Electric America
800/yaskawa
Click micro PLC has stackable I/O modules and free programming software.
MICRO PLC
Click micro PLC has stackable I/O modules and free programming software. The PLC has eight inputs and six outputs in four combinations of built-in I/O types. For expansion, 11 option modules are available for flexible system configuration up to 142 I/O.
AutomationDirect
770/889-2858
CompactLogix L23 PACs in three packaged forms for small machine platforms offer a common programming environment, common networks and a common engine for future control.
PACS PACKAGE
CompactLogix L23 PACs in three packaged forms for small machine platforms offer a common programming environment, common networks and a common engine for future control. Each PAC has embedded preconfigured I/O. All models offer 512 KB memory, up to three tasks and four programs and EtherNet/IP integrated ports.
Rockwell Automation
440/646-3434
IP67-rated programmable gateways with the company’s power supplies and I/O provide a controller without a control cabinet to control a variety of I/O including digital, analog, serial and RFID.
PROGRAMMABLE GATEWAYS
IP67-rated programmable gateways with the company’s power supplies and I/O provide a controller without a control cabinet to control a variety of I/O including digital, analog, serial and RFID. The gateways can be used as stand-alone solutions or to reduce PLC load and network traffic in larger installations with Modbus TCP/IP, EtherNet/IP and Profibus.
Turck
800/544-7769 d>
PACMotion motion controllers for high-end needs of complex applications have modules that control up to four axes plus a master axis.
ADVANCED CONTROL
PACMotion motion controllers for high-end needs of complex applications have modules that control up to four axes plus a master axis, and up to 10 modules can be placed in a PACSystems RX3i rack for simultaneously control of 40 axes.
GE Fanuc Intelligent Platforms
800/433-2682
Modicon M238 PLC library of function blocks allow it to be programmed and modified to meet specific application needs.
PLC IN TIME
Modicon M238 PLC library of function blocks allow it to be programmed and modified to meet specific application needs. M238 PLC incorporates SoMachine architecture, which embeds intelligence in drives, HMI displays, motion and logic control products. It includes 14 inputs, including eight fast inputs for special functions such as HSC high-speed counting and 10 solid-state outputs including four fast outputs for PWM and PTO.
Schneider Electric
888/778-2733
cRIO-9073 PAC has an embedded real-time processor and a user-programmable FPGA chip within a single chassis.
LOW-COST PAC
cRIO-9073 PAC has an embedded real-time processor and a user-programmable FPGA chip within a single chassis. When programming with LabView 8.6 graphical system design platform and the FPGA in the PAC, engineers can implement custom analog and digital control and acquisition loops along with high-speed signal processing algorithms.
National Instruments
800/258-7022
RIO-47120 Pocket PLC is programmable for 0-5 V, 0-10 V, ±5 V and ±10 V.
POCKET PLC
RIO-47120 Pocket PLC is programmable for 0-5 V, 0-10 V, ±5 V and ±10 V. The resolution of the analog I/O is 12-bits standard, with a 16-bits option. In addition to a RISC processor for intelligent I/O processing, the RIO contains eight analog inputs, eight analog outputs and 16 optically isolated outputs rated at 25 mA each.
Galil Motion Control
800/377-6329
X20 CPU features a 100-Mbps Ethernet interface for use as an on-line interface or networking.
BETTER COMMUNICATION
X20 CPU features a 100-Mbps Ethernet interface for use as an on-line interface or networking. A CAN and RS232 interface is integrated into the system, which can be rack-mounted. An extended CPU can be used if separate Ethernet, CAN or RS232 interfaces are necessary. It’s equipped with a 25-mm slot for Profibus-DP, CANopen and DeviceNet interface modules to be used.
B&R Industrial Automation
770/772-0400
RMC150E CPU module works with this company’s I/O and is programmed using RMCTools software for fluid power and electric servo motion control applications.
EIGHT IS ABOUT ENOUGH
RMC150E CPU module works with this company’s I/O and is programmed using RMCTools software for fluid power and electric servo motion control applications. The CPU can handle eight synchronized axes and eight dual-loop position-pressure/force axes and reference axes.
Delta Computer Systems
360/254-8688
ELC logic controller has several modules, four controller styles, 1- to 32-bit instructions, remote communication, connectivity to drives and I/O and a built-in display.
JUST WHAT YOU WANT
ELC logic controller has several modules, four controller styles, 1- to 32-bit instructions, remote communication, connectivity to drives and I/O and a built-in display. Unit is DIN-rail mountable.
Omega Engineering
203/359-1660
EZTouchPLC combines the original EZTouch panel with the functionality of a micro-modular PLC.
COMBO PANEL AND PLC
EZTouchPLC combines the original EZTouch panel with the functionality of a micro-modular PLC. It integrates user’s control and visualization needs into one total device for a small to medium machine that requires a touch-type graphical display.
EZAutomation
563/359-7501
HEC-4000 harsh environment controllers provide programmable intelligence in a sealed, water-tight enclosure with pluggable connectors.
NASTY ENVIRONMENTS
HEC-4000 harsh environment controllers provide programmable intelligence in a sealed, water-tight enclosure with pluggable connectors. The standard enclosure is submersible to 3 ft and is screw and sub-plate mountable. In addition, the controllers are programmed with EZ Ladder software that supports ladder diagram and function block programming. The controllers feature PWM outputs with current sensing.
Divelbiss
800/245-2327
Smart SoftPLC combines I/O control and logic, communications, firewall/VPN and an optional Web server in a small package.  PAC
Smart SoftPLC combines I/O control and logic, communications, firewall/VPN and an optional Web server in a small package. It runs a ladder logic instruction set, with virtually unlimited memory for logic and data. Additional functions include LogData and SendEmail. User-written functions in C/Java language also are supported.
SoftPLC
512/264-8399
IndraControl L65 PAC offers unified programming software, scalable hardware, pre-developed functions, reusable code, large memory and built-in connectivity.   UNIFIED PROGRAMMING
IndraControl L65 PAC offers unified programming software, scalable hardware, pre-developed functions, reusable code, large memory and built-in connectivity. The IEC-compliant PAC has 36 MB program memory for multitasking and running multiple device profiles.
Bosch Rexroth
847/645-3600
  HMI PLC
HMIcontrol has an embedded PLC and I/O in a single system. It uses CoDeSys as the onboard programming and is IEC 61131-3 compliant. The unit can be used as a stand-alone PLC for advanced computations, scaling, or in combination with I/O systems for machine control.
Exor
513/874-0900
ELC DIN-rail mount PLC offers multiple communication ports, distributed I/O capability, high-speed counters and pulse outputs, interrupts, timer resolution of 1 msec and PIDs.  SPACE-SAVING PLC
ELC DIN-rail mount PLC offers multiple communication ports, distributed I/O capability, high-speed counters and pulse outputs, interrupts, timer resolution of 1 msec and PIDs. It can be programmed from a PC through a serial cable.
Eaton
216/523-5000
FP-X PLC provides 32 msec per instruction, 32K steps program memory and aup to 382 I/O points in a compact brick. FAST INSTRUCTIONS
FP-X PLC provides 32 msec per instruction, 32K steps program memory and aup to 382 I/O points in a compact brick. Digital I/O, Pulse I/O, analog and communications can be snapped onto the CPU.
Panasonic Electric Works of America
908/464-3550
  FRONT-END CONTROL
CPX/FEC modular terminal with an embedded PLC has IP65/IP67 protection with no need for a cabinet, has 10/100 Mbps Ethernet, email, OPC and Web server capability, 512 in/512 out with analog and digital I/O, 250 Kb of program memory at 10 bytes per instruction, 1-2 ms per 1K instructions and graphical programming tool in statement list and ladder.
Festo
631/435-0800
MAC-PWM two-channel, high current, PWM output card can be interfaced through analog outputs from a PLC or via RS485. PLC EMBEDDED CARD
MAC-PWM two-channel, high current, PWM output card can be interfaced through analog outputs from a PLC or via RS485. Protocols available include ASCII and Modbus RTU.
Entertron Industries
716/772-7216
Net Concentrator System (NCS) has 20-bit measurement resolution and signal-conditioning capabilities.  CONTROL PLUS I/O
Net Concentrator System (NCS) has 20-bit measurement resolution and signal-conditioning capabilities. Data rates are up to 100 Mbps. The NCS has sequential control language programmability based on IEC 61131-3.
Moore Industries-Int’l
818/894-7111