Every PLC vendor offers hybrid control technology capable of discrete, analog and motion control. The suppliers of lop control mostly offer products that can perform discrete control, but motion control is not addressed on this products. Now motion controllers are performing both discrete and motion control commonly. It is also possible to find motion controllers which capable in some level of analog process control.
The selection of controller in the market environment now is driven by the specific characteristics of each application, not by product characteristics. The various applications examination reveals that industrial OEMs are deciding what controller best suits their particular needs.
The two types of products that now compete in the market are motion controllers with discrete and analog I/O and logic, and PLCs with motion control capabilities. It seems PLCs with motion control add-on or plug-in boards to be the best of the both worlds, but it is not always the case. For instance, is PVA which makes multi-axis robotic dispensing equipment? Before settle the hybrid control, they relied in combination of PLC and motion controllers to accomplish machine functionality. PLC can work well for I/O control, but PVA run in problem trying to integrate motion with the PLC.