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PLC PAC Difference - PAC Automation Controller Defined

...PLC vs PAC Training.


Programmable Logic Controller training VS Programmable Automation Controller training

PLC PAC Difference

This PLC PAC Difference article defines the PAC automation controller in relationship to the PLC. A PLC vs PAC comparison.


First, the PLC PAC Definitions


A Programmable Logic Controller (PLC) is a single microprocessor based device used to automate equipment operation in process and manufacturing machinery, infrastructure and transportation control. Designed to replace relays and timers, it uses electrician and maintenance friendly ladder logic to program sequence of events and reaction via real-world input and output devices.
A Programmable Automation Controller (PAC) is a 2 or more processor based device like a personal computer (PC) is and is basically a PC merged with a PLC using multitasking capabilities to automate control of one or more pieces of equipment. The term PAC was first defined by ARC Advisory Group in 2001. Although the PAC includes PLC capabilities, its hardware architecture and software are designed to be more user friendly to the IT/Computer Programmer. Differences include multitasking; multiple processor modules per rack, multiple programming languages like structured text, distributed control system (DCS), Tag based addressing, motion control, standard PC networking like Ethernet, to name a few.


PLC PAC difference from a training perspective...

Many maintenance, engineering and even some college instructors refer to a PAC as a PLC. Some correctly argue that it doesn't matter which terminology you use, as long as the device you are referring to, meets your automation control needs. But when referring to training for a PAC, it is critical to distinguish between a PAC and a PLC.


Allen Bradley/Rockwell PAC example picture








Click What is the PLC PAC difference in training to read the rest of this article and view a side by side PLC vs PAC comparison chart.




We also put together a couple simple Videos on YouTube, click pc marries plc - pac is born and automation engineering fun: pc vs plc . j which one you like best?






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Don Fitchett  - Business Industrial Network  (BIN) -
About the Author: Don Fitchett founded the activity based costing system called "True Downtime Cost" ™ (TDC), authored books and speaks at conventions on the topic and is president of BIN. Don has been in the industrial training sector for over two decades, setting up training programs around the world, and still conducts training seminars to this day.

Business Industrial Network delivers instructor based industrial training as well as software and on-line industrial training.
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