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Old October 31st, 2002, 08:13 PM   #1

Ron is offline
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PLC vs. Microcontrollers

Which one is better in automating, using a PLC or a microcontroller?
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Old October 31st, 2002, 11:43 PM   #2

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The answer is easy - IT DEPENDS.

In general, it is much easier to build a machine using a PLC.
For a one off machine, a PLC easily wins.
For a small number of machines, a PLC easily wins.

If you are going into a production run of thousands+, then it may be that a micro controller is better.

If you want your machine/applcication to fit into a match box, a micro controller is the only way to go (for now...).

Remember, a lot of PLC's use micro-controllers for their CPUs and in their I/O, so using a PLC will not actually get you away from using a micro controller.

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Old November 1st, 2002, 07:30 AM   #3

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I think you will find PLCs preferred by customers and maintenance personnel since they have the ability to troubleshoot and repair problems, while not having the equipment available to diagnose a microcontroller device.

If your machine is a very unique idea it might be better for you financially to have a bunch of dependant customers, but if you are competing against other OEMs with similar equipment with reliability and downtime as important factors, the PLC controlled equipment will probably win out.
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Old November 1st, 2002, 11:02 AM   #4
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Way if

The way I would look at it if I were the customer, is if the equipment were from a large manufacturer with many outlets who could deal with repairs, then I would probably not need to know what or how it was controlled so the microcontroller could be used.

BUT if this was a piece of custom machinery from a small to medium sized manufacturer who are the only people who can understand the product, then I would be vary wary and it would have to be pretty special before I would accept a microcontroller.
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