I'm surprised the motion control people use the same kind of PLCs we process
control people do. I would have thought a more specialized system like a
PAC (programmable automation controller) would have been standard long ago.
Hehe. My thoughts exactly ;-)
It *does* make the point that PLCs aren't the solution to everything - but I
think we all knew that already. Motion control cards for PLCs have been
microprocessor-based right from the start - maybe someone needs a new
acronym to boost sales?
I don't see where the article said anything new or memorable.
How well PLCs do at motion sequencing is dependent on the programming
languages available. Ladder is not the best means of writing motion
programs. SFCs and structured text are almost perfect. The motion control
itself is usually done by specialized PLC cards or motion modules connected
by Ethernet or a field bus. PAC is a name National Instruments made up for
their software running on a PC. I don't know of any other company that
uses this name. It looks like the original author bought into the marketing
Interesting. It makes sense. I'm a great advocate of software-based
control, but I wouldn't trust a PC farther than I could throw Bill Gates.
If I _were_ going to design a controller for a robot it'd either be
based on some sort of PLC (or PAC -- where's a link, Walter?) or it'd be
based on custom hardware. If I _did_ use a PC for the actual controller
it'd be a deeply embedded one, running a hard RTOS and connected to
another PC that would act as the public relations departments for the
purposes of communicating with the outside world.
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