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Investigation into Embedded Processors and PLCs for Small scale industry Free essay! Download now

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Investigation into Embedded Processors and PLCs for Small scale industry

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Investigation into Embedded Processors and PLCs for Small scale industry. lloking at the advantageous of using embedded processors over the industry standard PLCs.


Investigation into Embedded Processors and PLCs for Small scale industry

1. Abstract.

The purpose of this report is to research along with practical investigation micro processors and programmable logic controllers, in order to develop opinions on the possibilities of micro processors replacing programmable logic controllers in smaller scale industrial mechatronic systems due to increased processing power.

2. Introduction

When designing a system or a product, decisions made in the early stages of development can have immense impact in the product later life. Without knowing the differences and similarities between Programmable Logic Controllers (PLC) or Micro Processors ( Uc), it is hard to make an informative decision on technology selection.

We must also consider what is the definition of small scale industrial mechatronic systems. In this report I have assumed this to be the control and operation of a small system or device with few to moderate input and output devices to make comparisons between the two options viable.

The type of micro processors we will look at we be PIC controllers such as the Genie range and modern processors such as the Amtel AVR series.

3 Arcutecture of a PLC and Micro Processors

If we look at these basic examples of arcutecture for a PLC ans Micro Processor we can see that they are very similar in design.

fig 1.a Micro Processor Architecture

fig 1.b PLC Architecture.

We can see from the two examples that each device has common components with the central processing unit, CPU , being core component. In both these devices, the CPU can read and write to inputs, store information in memory and allow access for programming. In some ways both devices are similar, and it could be deduced that a PLC has a micro processor imbedded within it's hardware.

The beginnings of the difference between the PLC and micro controller is seen in fig 1.b, the PLC has a power supply built in. If we look at a low level PLC like the Mitsubishi Alpha 2 ***3*** series, we can see that the unit has an inbuilt power supply that can handle 100 240 volts which covers the majority of power outlets globally available. In contrast, it is up to the designer to choose or design a power supply that would be suitable for operation with a micro processor.

This is the disadvantage of designing with micro processors, every device, module or common hardware you need to use to perform simple functions has to be designed. In a PLC the majority of the hardware has been made for ...

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