What is the future of PLC in industrial automation?

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Negosentro | What is the future of PLC in industrial automation? | Ever heard about the term PLC and asked yourself what is a PLC? Ever wondered what is the future of PLC in industrial automation? In this article, we will try to answer these two questions. 

PLC is the abbreviation of Programmable Logic Controller, or API in French, or Automate Programmable Industriel. It is a programmable logic controller, in the form of an industrial system, used as a stand-alone unit, which can also be used in a network including other such PLCs. In most cases, PLCs are used to control a process, or automatically execute a particular goal. Different types of interconnected sensors are used to record specific outdoor information, such as the temperature of the liquid level in a container or the speed of an object.

As you can see, PLCs are indeed key devices used in industrial automation and building automation. Big technological advancements such as futuristic robots, artificial intelligence, high-tech sensors, cloud computing, and big analytical data are set to radically change the landscape of the manufacturing industry. This development brings us into a new era, known as Industry 4.0. In this new generation industrial reality, PLCs will play an important role; they will be the main control, the center of entry, and HMI, or human-machine interaction, for the employees.

PLC: the industrial landscape

PLCs will remain essential processes for real-time manufacturing methods and help communicate with input sensors via the Internet of Things or industrial IoT. It will also allow PLCs to capture and transfer detailed data to machine learning programs. Programmable logic controllers and the facilities that use them must be prepared for the rapidly evolving global climate change, as well as for our environment. Unprecedented climatic events, such as heatwaves, floods, or even cold spells, are more and more serious and frequent, which can adversely affect the operation of electronic equipment such as PLCs.

In the future, programmable logic controllers should be built and configured to be more durable and rugged, to withstand harsh and aggressive climates. They will be made with different materials, such as optical fibers, which are much more durable than electronic signals, especially in harsh environments such as factory floors. Using IoT technology, the controller can also be run remotely from a separate location and stored in isolation, out of harsh conditions, with little or no intrusion. This is an important parameter because the sensors and processes, which are sensitive and fragile, justify the need for precise control and intervention.

PLCs will remain the central processor of real-time production processes and communicate better with input sensors via the Industrial Internet of Things (IoT). This capability will also help PLCs collect better data and deliver it to machine learning programs.

For example, data from PLCs, in combination with data from sensors and other system data, can be combined to display the “big picture,” that emerges from processing big data. Analysis tools can enable plant managers and other staff to make better use of resources, batch job scheduling, logistics, supplier scheduling, and other critical functions to produce more efficient data.

Collective data can also be tracked and analyzed for preventive maintenance and maximum efficiency of the single system as part of the manufacturing process.

Negosentro | What is the future of PLC in industrial automation?

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