Should I Use An Edge Controller, PLC, or PAC?
Edge controllers can provide advantages in many applications where traditional industrial controllers have been used. For commercial and industrial computing products, software and hardware development progress proceeds in tandem, with the lead alternating. Sometimes the software complexity and features increase in a way that bumps into processing limitations; then there are times when hardware advances unleash newfound capacity for more sophisticated software.
It is easy to look at today’s traditional operations technology (OT) industrial controller options, represented most often by traditional programmable logic controllers (PLCs) and process automation controllers (PACs), and see them as mature technologies with capable software and fast hardware. The challenge is identifying what comes next.
A few industry trends are pointing the way. Modern consumer and commercial computing experiences are ripe for merging into industrial products. Internet of Things (IoT) devices are becoming commonplace and many are looking at incorporating Industrial IoT (IIoT) devices into automation systems. Digital transformation requires connecting with many data sources, collecting and storing the data, visualizing and analyzing it, enabling optimized operations.