PLC is an acronym for Programmable Logic Controller. It’s an industrial device utilised as a standalone unit, which can also be implemented in a network of other such PLCs. They are essentially used to automatically control a process or carry out a specific function. To record distinct information from the outside world – such as the temperature of a liquid level in a container, or the velocity of an object – they use various forms of connected sensors.
It can be easily concluded from its definition that PLCs are key devices used in industrial automation & building automation. Major technological innovations such as futuristic robotics, artificial intelligence, high-tech sensors, cloud computing, and big data analytics are poised to significantly alter the landscape of the manufacturing industry. This new age of manufacturing is known as Industry 4.0. In this new era of industrial reality, PLCs will play a noteworthy role as the main control, input centre, and HMI for human workers.
PLCs will consistently always remain the fundamental processor for real-time manufacturing processes, but will also help communication with input sensors through Industrial IoT. This will also enable PLCs to collect refined data and transmit it to machine learning programs. PLCs and the facilities that utilise them need to be prepared for the rapidly-changing global climate and environment surrounding us. Unprecedented climatic events such as heat waves, floods, or even cold waves are becoming increasingly common and severe at the same time, which can negatively impact the functioning of electronic equipment such as PLCs.
PLCs in the future should be developed and designed to be more robust and sturdy in order to withstand the harsh and hostile climate. They will be manufactured with different materials, such as fiber signals which are significantly more durable than electronic signals, especially in hostile environments like plant floors. Due to the IIoT technology, the PLC can also be operated remotely from another location and be stored in isolation far away from harsh conditions where there’s little to no interference. This is especially critical if there are sensitive & delicate sensors and processes that mandate the need for precise regulation and actions.
Similarly, even SCADA systems are imperative for the future of industrial automation. In fact, it can easily be said SCADA software normally allow a business to function far more effectively and safely, and at a notably lower cost. These systems provide real-time information, which further cements its reputation as one of the top regulatory systems. Prominent industries implementing this technology include water and wastewater management, oil & gas, and power utilities. Other sectors include telecom and aquaculture as well. SCADA offers the following benefits:
- Cost: It essentially helps in mitigating capital expenditure, while – at the same time – increasing asset performance.
- Risks: SCADA software is essential in securing critical infrastructure and aiding to reduce cybersecurity risks.
- Support: Investing in SCADA also assures that as operations go through digital evolution, support and advice is present – especially when it is needed.