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Industrial Automation Controller: How to Choose The Right Technology?

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Until today manual tasks take approximately half of the working hours. However, by the year 2030, studies suggest it could reduce to only 35 percent.

If you go by the reports, around 10 to 15 percent of jobs in sectors like manufacturing, transportation, or storage might be replaced by automated processes. If that doesn’t hold much weightage, you might be surprised to know that process automation is expected to exceed 83 billion U.S. dollars. 

And why not? This technology allows industries to minimize human error, save cost and time while achieving better or higher productivity. It is like the cherry on the top. But with so many options available, choosing the right system is of utmost importance. 

Before that, you must have knowledge regarding different types of control systems to make an informed decision. Let’s start!

Types of Control Systems

The following are some of the types of control systems that are readily available. 

PLC: This type of control is helpful for different kinds of applications. It is either available with a fixed I/O format or with a flexible configuration. It depends on the system requirements.

Ideally, this technology is commonly available in washing machines or controlling elevators or traffic signals. Many industries use PLCs for monitoring production or building systems. 

PAC: It is the next-generation PLC. While controls are similar to what you get with PLC, it encompasses newer technology derived from PCs or mobile devices.

In short, you get a chance to improve data logging capabilities. Such controllers have importance in software applications such as HMIs, ERP systems, or vision applications. 

IPC: They are compact systems that look like a PC. They are helpful to manage industry-specific complex instructions. 

Now that you have an idea of different types of controllers, the next step is choosing the right one for your industry. 

Factors The Define The Use of Particular Controller in Your Business

Industrial Automation Controller: 7 Big Factors to ConsiderYou must consider the following elements when deciding the best controller for your business. It includes:

  • Automation Type 
  • Working environmental conditions or problems
  • Devices used 
  • Modules or features required
  • I/O location
  • Communication
  • Programming

Whether you already have a system in place or are you trying to buy a new one, these factors will most likely dictate your selection. But in the case where the system is already in place, make sure the controller is compatible with your system. 

Other than that, the following elements will help you choose the right controller for your system: 

1. Types of I/O

Before anything, you must define the type of inputs and outputs, such as Inductive, radiofrequency, or thermal control. Each has a different control system. For instance, with inductive I/O, you must create a path from the control signal and ground the inductive I/O. 

Ideally, for every type, you must have one VGA and the same number of controllers. If you want more, they must be connected in parallel or series, depending on the type of the device. 

2. Communication Systems

Whenever using an automatic controller, they will have systems to communicate with each other. For instance, when you connect PLCs, you will have a separate utility to communicate with the controller. 

Therefore, experts advise upgrading the controllers only when communication requires an upgrade since the system is so intricate. 

3. Hardware Necessities

Depending on the amount of data a controller needs to process, the size of the DRAM memory changes. So, if you add devices to support the system, the need for memory will automatically increase. 

Other than that, the scan-time speed also triggers the need for hardware requirements. But if you go by data, you should never connect any memory connections with the controller. Otherwise, the chances of data corruption will increase. 

But with an increase in emerging technologies, one can easily add more RAM to the automation systems without impacting the system capacity. You can also change the type of controller depending on your requirements. 

4. Software Necessities

You can check IEEE standards for all the programming functions. For instance, PIC controllers require PIC 16-bit processors for logic, I2C, and interrupt. Other than that, power is another consideration when choosing the controller for your business. Usually, FPGA is desirable. 

But why do you need automation in the first place? Well! The following reasons make automation quite crucial for running a business with efficiency. 

  • It increases productivity since systems can be used 24/7 without losing an ounce of efficiency. 
  • Machines and computers work with the same capability and at the same pace. So, they are reliable, stable, and solid in the long run.
  • Implementing new tasks requires new manuals and or user training. However, when it comes to automated tasks, reprogramming a machine is a lot simpler.
  • These systems provide accuracy and reduce costs. Thus managers can make better decisions. 
  • Using automation systems allow you to reduce costs since you don’t have to rely on humans for business operations. 

Lastly, it is undoubtedly a better alternative when you have to work in dangerous conditions. 

Wrapping up: Factors to Consider Before Choosing a Controller

Industrial Automation Controller: 7 Big Factors to ConsiderYou need to consider many factors before choosing a controller for your machine or process automation. For that, you need to break down the needs and evaluate the requirements that will help you ease the operational processes. 

You can either go for PLC or PAC, which can control a single station or a machine or whole assembly line depending on the specifications you will use. After all, if you don’t use the right system, it will eventually hinder your operations and a headache for yourself. 

Also, you can’t ignore their presence as well as they help you with enhanced productivity. The idea is to make you stand out and be flexible at the same time. That’s what today’s market requires for you to hold your position. 

All in all, with the right technology, you can experience reduced downtime since your processes will be efficient and on time. And minimal or no production errors, thereby increasing productivity and customer satisfaction. 

Is your industry using the right controller? Consult the experts for more information.

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