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Modern day automation systems are required to be networked, need more data storage, need to be more user-friendly, be able to communicate with each other and require an open standard. PLCs have been used traditionally for automation purpose, but they have not been designed to meet such extra requirements. PCs were always designed to perform tasks like data storage, communication, number crunching etc. There is an increasing trend in the industry to use industrial PCs as automation controllers.
Semitronik, using its years of experience in automation has designed its own PC based automation controller with a set of IO cards (digital and analogue) to cater to a wide range of automation applications. The combination of automation controller and the IO cards can handle a variety of automation requirements of various industries.
The automation controller can run embedded operating systems like WinCE or Windows XP Embedded (XPe) depending on the application requirement. The controller is designed to withstand the harsh industrial environment of extreme temperature, humidity, vibration and dust. The controller is equipped with a solid state disk to with stand vibrations in a control panel.
The set of IO cards are equipped with USB, RS485, Ethernet or wireless interface. The IO cards communicate to the PC via MODBUS or other serial protocols. The IO cards can handle all the industrial requirements like high speed encoders, control drivers, interface sensors, handle PID loops and thus cater to a variety of industrial applications. They are designed to with work in industrial environment and immune to electrical noise.
There are various advantages of using a PC based control :