A Programmable Logic Controller (PLC) is a form of ruggedized computer used in industries for automation. They are programmed to automate specific processes, machine functions and sometimes the entire production line. PLCs receive information and data from connected input devices and process these data and trigger output upon their programmed instructions. Based on incoming inputs and outputs, real time insights on machine productivity, temperature can be measured and the processes can be automated. They are flexible and are controlled by robots, which are easily adaptable.
Small PLCs are PLCs that have more than 128 Input and Output (I/O) points but not more than 256 I/O functions. They do not include any I/O enhancements fitted along with the basic system. As PLCs are growing smaller and smaller in size, they have grown in their power and functional capabilities. They are the best alternatives for replacing relays and performing control functions in a bare minimal space. Advancements in microelectronics and surface mount technologies have led to reduction in the manufacturing costs of PLCs. Due to the ever-shrinking size of these PLCs, they are rapidly replacing applications of relay controllers that were used in compressors, packaging and labelling, textile and food industries.
The report “Global Small Programmable Logic Controllers (PLC) Market by Architecture, Product (Nano and Micro), Industry Vertical and Region 2014-2025: Growth Opportunity and Business Strategy” gives a detailed analysis and data for annual revenue which are available for 2014-2025. The breakdown of key national markets by product type and industry vertical over the forecast years are also included. The report consists of competitor’s analysis and the predicted manufacture trend; and profiles PLC vendors including market leaders and important emerging players. Specifically, potential risks associated with investing in the Global Nano PLC market and industry is assayed quantitatively and qualitatively through GMD’s Risk Assessment System. The major players in the market are ABB Ltd., Emerson Electric Co., General Electric Co., Hitachi, Ltd., Honeywell International Inc., IDEC Corporation, Mitsubishi Electric Corp., Omron Corporation, Robert Bosch GmbH, Rockwell Automation Inc., Schneider Electric SE and Siemens AG.
The advantage of relay control over PLC has to do with the fact that PLCs are economical in production and thus reduce costs of production. Business constantly prefers PLCs, sometimes for even higher costs. Small PLCs are suited well to handle complex sequencing functions. Between the choice of large PLCs and small PLCs, the trade off happens in terms of cost and size since both the PLCs perform similar functions.
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Ankur Gupta, Head Marketing & Communications