Programmable Logic Controllers (PLCs) - Modular
Modular PLCs are built by combining different types of modules with the CPU to create the whole system. Typically the modules connect to the CPU seamlessly with connectors that mate with the CPU or other modules (like the toy plastic bricks.) Modules will be used to add inputs and outputs, communications and special functions, like motion control or temperature sensing, etc.
Programmable Logic Controllers (PLCs) – Brick-style
Brick style PLC’s (often called ”shoe box PLCs”) are more of an all-in-one controller. The CPU, IO and communications are all built in to one unit. Adding IO or special functions like temperature sensing, networking, etc. is normally done by connecting additional blocks using a prefabricated connector and cable.
For advanced motion control, controllers designed specifically for the task are required. Capabilities include:
- Linear interpolation for more than two axes
- Circular interpolation
- Inverse kinematics
- Offset calculations
- Coordinated motion for many axes
- 3D contouring
- Robot control
- Dual-loop feedback
Check out our Motion Controllers information page
Many programmers prefer languages such as C, Java and Python that they have used on Windows or Linux-based computers rather than learning controller-specific languages such as ladder logic and the other IEC61131-3 defined languages. Computers also allow for more general-purpose usage if the application calls for very complex algorithms, huge data collection, or other tasks that may seem cumbersome in automation controllers. Industrial computers are usually the solution. But, there are pc-based controllers that are more suited for automation applications.
Watlow's temperature and process controllers offer easy-to-use, accurate and reliable solutions for applications requiring single and multiple loops of control. Temperature and process controllers include one or more sensor inputs with open-loop break detection and multiple outputs for control and alarms. Various configurations offer auxiliary analog inputs, automatic tuning, TRU-TUNE®+ adaptive control, and ramp and soak profiling. Output options include analog process, switched DC and mechanical, solid state and no-arc hybrid relays. Learn more on our temperature controllers page
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