The significance of industrial computers increases in applications where precision with zero error is critical. Initially, it was the automotive industry that utilized computer-controlled systems in order to replace cam timers and hard-wired relays. Now, computer-driven tools have become a vital part of industrial process control and factory automation.
Unlike personal computers, PLC is capable of performing in harsh industrial environments where temperature, humidity, dust, mechanical shocks and other hazards are prevalent. Manufacturers need a variety of equipment in order to produce a product and make it work for the end users.
All the equipment or devices working on producing something in a facility needs to be organized in terms of time intervals. For instance, in the automobile industry, one device or a set of devices works on painting car exterior and the other machine works on engine parts. One of the functions of an industrial digital computer is to set the specific time frame for machines so that all the processes can be performed in a perfectly harmonious manner.
Industrial computers were introduced in the 1960s and before that, manufacturers relied on cam timers, relays and other similar kinds of devices to streamline their manufacturing processes. They control a wide range of applications from small production systems to large processing plants. Some of the advantages of PLC include:
- Ease of maintenance and installation
- Accuracy and dependability
- Low power consumption
- Higher flexibility and integration
Sourced from by Syed Ali Zain-ul-Abideen