PLC versus PC based controls

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A PC (personal computer) control system utilises a computer for information processing and control, often in the form of a panel PC – a touch screen and PC built together. Process signals are generally wired to remote I/O racks which communicate with the PC over an Ethernet or serial interface.


PLC control systems use a dedicated logic controller designed for industrial control. Process signals can be wired to I/O modules directly connected to the PLC, or over remote I/O racks via Ethernet or serial.

Which type is best for my system?

PC control systems tend to be more flexible and powerful than a PLC system, and are particularly effective when interfacing with existing PC-based infrastructure such as databases and company ERP systems. However, for small to medium systems, a PLC-based system will be much cheaper and simpler than a PC, and will be more reliable in harsh environments or temperatures.