Programmable Logic Controllers are used in industrial automation and control systems. In these applications, many of the controllers implemented are not like brands and types of PLCs. It is due to many uncontrollable decisions such as:
• Frequent revisions of factory operations.
• Facility expansions.
• Contractors favoring alternate hardware.
• Fluctuating hardware process.
• Discontinuation of hardware/software.
• New management or engineering specs.
This gives the common scenario of multiple segregated control systems being used in the same plant to control various systems. These unique control systems can cause integration difficulties. The task of retrieving data from the PLC control system is sometimes impractical due to added expenses. The problem is that without buying all new control systems or very expensive software, the PLC data registry in these systems can not be monitored at the same time. The advantages of a PLC network with one common data monitoring system can be:
• Increase efficiency.
• Increase productivity.
• Better quality
• More agile system
• Maximum profitability.
The next problem entails the business side being networked with the factory side of a company. A medium needs to be created to transform data from a machine, to more useful data. This real time data will need to be available to both business owners and maintenance employees in remote locations. Depending on who accesses the data, only pertinent information to a specific area of the company needs to be given.