Understanding what a PAC is starts from the understanding of PLC. A PAC reduces overall system cost, space and gives you all the best features compared to traditional IPC + PLC solutions. Wikipedia describes PAC as a compact controller the combine the capabilities and features of a PC based control system with that of a typical PLC (Programmable Logic Controller). A reliable device is capable to operate multiple tasks, flexibility in operation and strong computing power is required to carry out complex electromechanical processes such as in automation industry. Real time motion with multiple input and/or output arrangements must be performed by a programmable automation controller.
Endless technology improvement leads to the migration of typical floor plant management to modern industrial application which requires the ability to encompass multiple tasks requiring I/O point control, monitoring, data exchange via OPC, and integration of factory data with enterprise systems. PAC area deployment can be unlimited. The most common applications are in process automation and manufacturing such as the control of machinery on factory assembly lines, or in building automation such as controlling lighting fixtures and more. The control system must interface with signals from simple actuators and sensors, network devices to manage interoperability and seamless data integration.
A PAC is often used in industrial applications for data acquisition, process control, remote equipment monitoring, motion control, and machine vision. A PAC communicates and functions over popular network interface protocols like TCP/IP, OPC (OLE for Process Control) and SMTP. PACs are able to transfer data from the machines they control to other components and machines in networked control system or to application databases and software. A PAC at the core of an automation system can integrate multiple field bus networks like RS-232, RS-422, RS-485, CAN, Ethernet, Ethernet/IP, and others. To control industrial system development and serve expanding machine needs, Ethernet Direct launches a new generation of PAC.