When choosing an industrial automation controller, there are several important terms to consider, not just those that have the words PLC, PAC or IPC in them. Application requirements need to be clearly defined, while the scalability needs must be taken into account before a choice is made.
There is a very thin but fine line between PACs and PLCs, but its one that is usually poorly understood by machine end users. And its not their fault; machine builders and system integrators often keep their clients in a constant state of limbo regarding the vital difference between the two entities.
A well-designed control panel is highlighted by one word: neatness. Neatness itself can’t be instilled within a control panel and is in fact the by-product of other well-executed aspects of the design process. Here are the top four aspects of good (and neat) control panel design:
The world of automation has seen several major innovations come its way; some fading away with time, while others turning into prerequisites for operation. PLCs are in the latter category, becoming absolutely vital in many cases for carrying out automation tasks. But in recent decades it has faced competition from an adversary: DCS or Distributed Control System. Much like a PLC, a DCS contains multiple autonomous controllers and serves as a focal point for a vast system’s automating processes.
In recent years, Stationary HMIs have struggled to keep up with mobile operators’ expectations, leading to a vacuum that is being swiftly filled by more advanced Contextual HMIs. The problem takes its root from the lack of efficiency. For instance, maintenance engineers are continuously wasting their time between inspecting the stationary HMI and the physical location where the asset is. There are several cases where the maintenance needs to be carried out on the opposite side of the asset from where the stationary HMI display is located. This usually occurs during troubleshooting, diagnostics, commissioning or equipment changeovers when the operator needs to verify the asset’s state parameters.
Robotic cable management is often seen as a supplementary part of the design process, overlooked and saved for the last. In reality, it serves an important role in ensuring peak robotic efficiency, especially in typical six-axis robots. First and foremost, poor robotic cable management can affect the movement of the robotic arm, directly effecting the process’ performance. Tightly bound cables with excessive dress packs or ties can lead to problems such as corkscrewing, with the stress building up as the robot operates.
The Cisco Annual Cyber Security Report provides a comprehensive insight into global security trends and emerging threats. The growing role of Internet of Things within industries has caught the attention of several security analysts and hit men, making it a hot topic within the 2018 Cisco report. It has been reported that 69% of respondents considered their Operational Technology equipment to be a viable attack choice, while 31% of security professionals have already experienced some type of cyber-attacks on their Operational-Technology equipment.