PLC vs PAC: Similar but not the same

arnold machine

By Zach Arnold, founder, Arnold Machine

Programmable logic controllers, or PLCs, and programmable automation controllers, or PACs, are similar as they both perform the same essential functions. But with modern technology, their differences are becoming more blurred. 

The most notable difference between PLCs and PACs is their programming interface. PACs are more intricate, using C or C++. PLCs on the other hand, are programmed using ladder logic.

These programming differences create distinctions in the architecture and capability between the two computers.  Continue reading PLC vs PAC: Similar but not the same

Pepperl+Fuchs launches new Ethernet IO modules

pepperl+fuchs io module
EtherNet IO modules offer IO-Link sensor/actuator connections, function across multiple protocols, and are supplied with 16 A via the M12 power plug

Pepperl+Fuchs has launches new Ethernet IO modules with multiprotocol functionality and M12 power plugs which are now also with integrated eight-way IO-link master.

The new Ethernet IO modules support all common Ethernet protocols, such as Profinet, EtherNet/IP, and EtherCAT, in a single device.

The integrated IO-Link master function allows comprehensive diagnosis and parameterization. 

The L-coded M12 power plug provides a current of up to 16 A and reduces installation costs.

Modules with an integrated logic function can tackle autonomous applications, completely replace control panels, or deal only with status messages. Continue reading Pepperl+Fuchs launches new Ethernet IO modules

Maxim Integrated launches new PLC development platform

maxim-Pocket IO PLC Development Platform

Maxim says its new platform transforms traditional manufacturing processes with real-time intelligence, adaptive manufacturing, and distributed control

Maxim Integrated has launched a new Pocket IO programmable logic controller development platform which its says can significantly increase manufacturing productivity.

The company says the platform provides customers with the ability to achieve the smallest form factor and highest power efficiency for next-generation PLC designs.

Lost productivity is a common concern for Industry 4.0 designers challenged with keeping a manufacturing line running 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.  Continue reading Maxim Integrated launches new PLC development platform

B&R claims ‘world’s first’ OPC UA device

b&r opc ua system

B&R claims to have become the first company in the world to develop a field device for Open Platform Communications Unified Architecture (OPC UA). 

The company says it has added the vendor-independent communication protocol to their X20 I/O system.

B&R says the new X20 I/O system bus controller makes it possible to implement OPC UA communication from the sensor layer to the enterprise resource planning (ERP) layer “without any interfaces whatsoever”. Continue reading B&R claims ‘world’s first’ OPC UA device

Yaskawa launches new robot featuring PC architecture

The Yaskawa MH280 II, which can be operated through Windows CE
The Yaskawa MH280 II, which can be operated through Windows CE

One of the world’s largest robot manufacturers, Yaskawa, is moving to make its machines more PC-compatible

Yaskawa Motoman has launched a new robot for machine tending applications, and it’s fully compatible with PC operating systems.

The company says the robot’s heavy-payload of the new MH280 II robot makes it “ideal” for machine tending, which is one of the most common robotics applications today.

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With its increased payload, moment and inertia ratings, the new model can also be used in material handling and press tending applications, from boring to milling to grinding.  Continue reading Yaskawa launches new robot featuring PC architecture