Machine Automation Controller (MAC) meets market needs effectively
By EC Janse van Rensburg, Omron South Africa
Electricity+Control, July 2015 (pages 8 and 9)
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During the past 50 years there has been a powerful and dramatic development of controllers: Distributed Control Systems (DCSs), Programmable Logic Controllers (PLCs), Industrial PCs (IPCs), and Programmable Automation Controllers (PACs). The explosion of industrial applications continues to challenge the functionality of those controllers, fostering further innovation. The need to combine the capabilities of traditional process/discrete industrial control has led to adaptations or extensions of existing technology. The efforts to evolve resulted in underperforming machine automation due to limitations in architecture and a lack of cross-discipline expertise. Today we see the emergence of a new controller type: MAC – which emerged after painstaking development from the ground up – specifically for high-speed, multi-axis motion control, vision, and logic. This article discusses how this point was reached.
- During the past 50 years controllers have developed dramatically.
- The industrial controls market was split between two segments – process and discrete – PLCs dominated the discrete market; DCSs led the process market.
- The MAC was designed to integrate multiple, specialised controllers with exacting system synchronisation.