Single-board consumer microcontrollers are popular with hobbyists, but how do they stand
up to industrial PLCs for more advanced process control applications?
Many readers expressed considerable interest in
a previous Control Design article comparing an Arduino microcontroller with a programmable logic controller (PLC) for basic flow control.
This led author Doug Reneker to consider how a Raspberry Pi microcontroller would fare against
a PLC for more advanced model-based control, where the microcontroller might have an edge.
One of the most talked about new trends in industrial automation is the use of single-board microcontrollers. These controllers, along with their open-sourced programs, have begun to show up in industrial applications. Many up-and-comers, introduced to this type of control early on, are fueling this trend but if you come from the established PLC world, you may be wondering what the buzz is all about.
Anyone involved with real estate may be familiar with the phrase “location, location, location,” which emphasizes the importance of finding the right locale. This term also applies for industrial automation designers, who are commonly challenged with fitting the necessary components into retrofitted control panels, and sometimes run into constrained available space on new projects.
For industrial pneumatics systems, air preparation (often called “air prep”) is a fundamental and often underappreciated necessity. Clean air at the proper pressure is needed for reliable system operation, and for reducing maintenance costs and downtime.
Check out the top tips for supplying clean and regulated air for best pneumatic equipment performance.
Yes, it really is free!
This completely free online PLC training course is available 24/7 so you can learn at your pace and at your convenience. To access the training or learn more about what is provided, follow the link below.
And don’t forget, when it comes to automation, no one gives you more than AutomationDirect!
A student design team developed a PLC-based control system to safely automate a test stand and prove out an engine prior to rocket launch.
At the University of British Columbia (UBC) in Vancouver, Canada, a group of determined students faced a technical task more challenging and with greater real-world implications than presented by typical homework or exams. They needed to safely test-fire an actual rocket engine to verify correct operation prior to launch.