For many types of machinery and test equipment, modern micro-PLCs go beyond basic control by enabling capable communications to higher-level systems.
Bill Dehner, technical marketing engineer for AutomationDirect, wrote an article for the June 2022 issue of Tech Briefs titled Powerful Micro-PLCs Enhance Equipment and Testing Systems. Here’s a summary, click on the link above for the full text.
There is often a great need to automate and access field data, even for small machines and equipment. In the past, this might have required expensive and complex automation devices and software. But today, modern micro-PLCs like the AutomationDirect CLICK PLUS provide affordable industrial-grade control, along with extensive IIoT connectivity.
Control and Data
For many years, equipment could get by with basic hardwired or PLC controls. But modern systems are likely to incorporate increasing quantities of wired and wireless sensors, and “intelligent” field devices, which driving up the amount of available data—and requiring a more capable digital platform to access it.
Simple Yet Smart
Standard micro-PLCs are already good for basic real-time control of systems with about 100 or fewer input/output points, but modern micro-PLCs are much more capable, with high-speed counting, PID loop control, improved mathematical computation, and other features. But what really sets modern micro-PLCs apart is native support for both OT and IT communication protocols.
Performing the IIoT role requires a micro-PLC to natively support operations technology (OT) protocols like ASCII, Modbus RTU/TCP, and EtherNet/IP, as well as IT protocols like MQTT, DHCP, SNTP, and DNS. These features enable the micro-PLC to act as a bridge between field devices and onsite or cloud-based IIoT platforms.
Micro-PLCs must also be modular and flexible, with scalable input/output capabilities, micro-USB, and wired/wireless Ethernet connectivity. They should be easy to retrofit into existing equipment or add to new systems.
AutomationDirect CLICK PLUS micro-PLCs offer an excellent price/performance ratio, making them ideal for creating industrial-grade automation and IIoT solutions.