Mortgaging Future Versatility in Metal-Cutting Machines

March 17, 2010
We use a micro PLC to control our metal-cutting machines with good results. When customers see that we use a PLC, they want to specify brand, causing us multiple headaches in design, programming and after-sales support. There's very little variability in the operating parameters from machine to machine, so we're actually thinking of switching to a preprogrammed relay that would be set up and delivered by the vendor ready to go with its own part number. If a machine needed something a little different, we would order it preprogrammed accordingly. Are we mortgaging future versatility for fewer headaches right now?
We use a micro PLC to control our metal-cutting machines with good results. When customers see that we use a PLC, they want to specify brand, causing us multiple headaches in design, programming and after-sales support. There's very little variability in the operating parameters from machine to machine, so we're actually thinking of switching to a preprogrammed relay that would be set up and delivered by the vendor ready to go with its own part number. If a machine needed something a little different, we would order it preprogrammed accordingly. Are we mortgaging future versatility for fewer headaches right now?