In today’s competitive market, companies need detailed and timely information about process variables, and production amounts, as well as alarms in real time. In the past, PLCs did not have the capabilities to provide such information, and PACs were not yet widely available.
Fortunately, newer PLCs and PACs can perform many data acquisition tasks within the controller, giving businesses a low cost, easier method for advanced, real-time data collection as compared to proprietary or stand-alone data acquisition systems.
Many of these PLCs and PACs are full-featured systems that can provide both control and data acquisition for existing I/O. Moreover, additional I/O can be added to acquire data from areas that do not require control, only monitoring. Data logging can be triggered by an event within the process or scheduled to occur at regular intervals.
Data transfers from the controller to other systems are typically done by an Ethernet port, which comes standard with most new PLCs and PACs. Popular protocols are also supported, eliminating the need to write complex drivers for the transfer of data from the controller to external systems.
Modern PLCs and PACs perform basic data acquisition as part and parcel of real-time control tasks. This double duty approach ensures the lowest overall cost, smallest footprint and simplest data acquisition systems.
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In business since 1994, AutomationDirect is a distributor offering thousands of industrial automation products for electrical control systems, including PLCs, operator interfaces, AC drives, motors, stepper systems, sensors, motor control, enclosures and more. Their prices are typically well below the list price of more traditional automation companies because of their model and focus on efficiency and the majority of their products are stocked for same-day shipping. Plus, get free two-day delivery on orders over $49; some limitations apply. For more information, contact them at 800-633-0405 or visit www.automationdirect.com/plcs.