When it comes to industrial electrical solutions, meeting production demands with as little downtime as possible is key in just about any industry. Automated processes require well-designed control systems to improve overall efficacy and provide reliable monitoring information about the machines. Here are two control systems that are crucial in running automated processes as efficiently as possible:
Programmable Logic Controllers (PLC)
A PLC is a rugged computer built for industrial needs that monitors inputs and outputs, and makes decisions for automated machines. By reading signals from input devices, such as sensors or keyboards, PLCs can implement automated functions even in harsh environments that would otherwise destroy less resilient devices.
Why are PLCs valuable?
Because their input and output devices are compatible with most industrial controls, PLCs can be adapted for a number of automation tasks. They are most often used for the control of manufacturing processes by using a seamless interface for a number of operations, such as factory assembly lines, amusement rides and even light fixtures. This makes for a versatile tool that can be highly customized to fit production needs.
One of the most valuable features of PLCs is the ability to make adjustments to the operation while still performing monitoring duties and relaying information. In addition, PLCs are highly tolerant of changes in temperature, humidity and vibration, which makes them excellent devices for monitoring processes in the outdoors. Typical PLCs can function in temperatures between 32 – 130 degrees Fahrenheit.
2. Human Machine Interface (HMI)
Put simply, HMI includes any device or software that allows you to interact with a machine. This application presents information to a user about the state of processes and can implement instructions requested by that user.
HMIs may appear in a variety of forms, from touch screens, push buttons and mobile devices. Some real-life examples include smartphones, multi-touch control panels and computer with a keypad.
Why is HMI valuable?
The most valuable part of HMI technology as it relates to industrial needs is the ability to monitor production and respond quickly to ever-evolving production demands. This capability is crucial in improving efficacy and limiting interruptions in workflow.
Beyond productivity enhancements, HMI provides insight into the system’s problems and maintenance needs. Though simple, alarms are a critical function of HMI technology that alert operators to issues within the system that could cause major damage if not immediately fixed.
Get started on your next project with us
Our expert technicians at Prairie Electric provide complete turnkey integration solutions and custom designing industrial controls to meet your specific needs and ensure the efficacy of your systems.