PC-based control also keeps your capital investment by “Future-Proofing” your solutions of automation. The industry of PC is over 100 times larger than the industry of PLC. The economics scale and fast pace of innovation provide solutions of PC that are twice as fast and half the cost every 18 months. Compare this with the main PLC lines that bring in a new PLC every 4 to 6 years, characteristically at higher costs. You can contact a plethora of off-the-shelf software and hardware components to improve your automation by leveraging the price and performance trends of the PC industry to automate your plant. Hardware similar to serial connections to printers and barcode readers for end of shift reporting can be tied straight to the PC. Data can be detained and shared with other applications of Windows for functions for example statistical process control, recipe management, variance analysis, or end of shift reporting. Network connections can be used to distribute production with the front office for reporting of management product.
Companies create an important investment in developing their processes and applications. Because PLCs are unique computers, proprietary, users are locked into the solutions of hardware that need 10 to 15 years of support and retrofits to maintain their application investment operation. As manufacturers initiate to identify that the investment they require to protect is in their applications, software, and processes, they are looking to “future-proof” their investment with platforms that will support their investment into the potential. The industry of PC has an outstanding history of protecting earlier period investments on present hardware. Programs built up for 200 MHz PCs can currently run on 2 GHz PCs. The hardware doesn’t need to be frozen for 15 years; somewhat the compatibility of software requires to be conserved with open systems. PCs offer you this without catching you into expensive, single-source components hardware.
One of the most important advances set up with PC-based control is programming of graphical flowchart. Flowcharts offer a simple, perceptive graphical description of a process that is exploited and understood by almost everyone on the plant floor. A common language permits electricians, engineers, and operators to easily read flowcharts that explain the step-by-step process to program, operate or a machine trouble-shooting. Companies increase three primary advantages by adopting flowchart programming and PC-based control: lower machine downtime, faster design cycles, and tools for continuous process improvement. Design time of control system can be decreased by 50 to 70% using flowchart programming and PC-based control compared with traditional PLC which design with relay ladder logic. The perceptive nature of flowcharts lets engineers to draw the control sequence of machine as a simple flowchart steps.