Decoding the Need for Conventional Programmable Logic Controller (PLC) Programming in the Future

Published: 25 Sep 2017

Introduction: Modern Day PLCs

PLCs have traditionally been the cornerstone of both process and discrete factory automation. While some industry experts predict the likely obsolescence of PLCs due to the advent of Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT), PLCs continue to dominate automation with categorical changes in the form-factor. This evolution has been brought by the availability of powerful processors, enhanced memory, enhanced input/output (I/O) communication capabilities, and other improved features that complement the existing features, thereby facilitating the PLCs to compete with distributed control system (DCS), computer numerical control (CNC), motion controllers, and other advanced robotic controllers and vision systems. Interestingly, with the advancements in features, the cost of a modern PLC has also significantly dropped, to the point where a unit costs not more than a few hundred dollars. The lower pricing is further aided by the stiff competition among the major PLC manufacturers, who want to offer best-in-class solution at competitive pricing.

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