September 3rd, 2019 by
For long, engineers have relied on PLCs because they offer hardened real time control. Their only downside is the steep replacement costs they incur since they implement proprietary operating software and systems. Some traditional PLCs limit scalability and flexibility from one platform to another. This has triggered engineers to opt for other machine control systems real time performance options. One such option is the use of real time PC based control that is preferred due to its cost effectiveness and expansive set of features.
Real time PC based systems offer two main benefits; enabling core isolation and a multi-core processor architecture. The core isolation feature allows system designers to assign definite control tasks to every CPU core as a means of optimizing system processing capabilities while reducing the time systems require to operate at maximum capacity. In turn, this boosts efficiency and extends the controller’s life as the processor becomes cooler due to reduced burden on the CPU. In addition real time PC based control systems leverage fastest and newest processors. Notably, some advanced PC based controllers utilize reliable Intel processors while entry level controllers incorporate ARM based processors. This guarantees consistent industry leading performances but at the least possible hardware, software, ownership and networking costs.
Other advantages of real time PC based control are; flexibility of migration paths and inherent scalability. In light of this, migration to larger systems is simplified in the event where an operation outgrows the scale or performance level of its control system. This mainly occurs in PC based controllers installed on Windows OS and other automation software with the aim of establishing real time control. As a result, the PD can operate in real time and deterministically. Note that, a processor’s end of life does not render software or system architecture obsolete. Real time PC users can replace old equipment with new IPC without altering the control system balance. This can be achieved through incorporating more system functionality into software and running it on standardized industrial PCs.
Real time PC based control systems ensure real time performance to the traditional PLCs. They streamline scalability and optimization as well as activate advanced features. Real time PC based controllers deliver the require performance levels to ensure that your operations remain competitive. However, the performance of systems relies heavily on the abilities possessed by machine builders when launching control platforms. This is because, the controller is a crucial part of the machine and always the first place experts examine when addressing performance issues and bottlenecks.