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Micro PLC: questions and answers

Difference between micro PLC and PLC, industrial applications and advantages

A PLC differs from a micro PLC in many aspects, let’s discover them together!

What is the difference between PLC and micro PLC?

A PLC is a programmable controller used for controlling machinery. A micro PLC has the same main functions as a PLC but with speed, performance and ability to manage minor inputs and outputs. Normally it does not have the possibility of being connected to a fieldbus network. When it is possible, it has a limited functionality.

The microcontroller or micro PLC can therefore be defined as a PLC with lower functionality but often sufficient to manage even complex machinery, always within the limits of its performance and the size of its memory and network interface. One of the advantages that must be underlined is the cost certainly lower than a PLC. Many manufacturers created many different families of micro PLCs in order to guarantee a greater variety of performances. For example, the micro 800 controller family of Rockwell Automation starts from the 810 intelligent relay version up to the 870 family (820, 830, 850) which is very close to the performance of a PLC.

So micro PLCs in their various versions can be used in most applications. Another advantage that we often find in micro PLCs is that they can be programmed via their keypad (smart relays) or via a free platform. On the other hand the PLCs use a paid (almost always) design platform.

What are the applications and advantages of micro PLC?

Micro PLCs allow a greater control for economic stand alone machines with a lower cost and reduced spare parts warehouse. Installation and maintenance activities are very simple.

Here there are some application examples:

  • Application in different types of electronic devices
  • Applications that require flexibility and control distributed in a small space and good computing power
  • Remote automation applications and big/small stand alone machine control, which require flexible communications and I / O capabilities

Type of machines interested in: packing, handling, process.

Micro PLCs are used in machines whose performance is not at the highest levels, otherwise if the machine needs a higher data processing speed, number of I/O, program size, it is necessary to switch to more powerful controllers such as Rockwell Automation Compact/Control Logix.

Discover the range of Rockwell Automation Micro800 and MicroLogix control systems! Cheap Allen Bradley micro PLCs for basic control for simple machines, from relay replacement to simple timing and control logic.

 

FIND OUT MORE ON ROCKWELL AUTOMATION WEBSITE

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