PACs for Communications and Data Handling, Podcast

Jan. 7, 2008
Listen to Dan Herbert's January 2008 Column, "PACs for Communications and Data Handling"

PACs for Communications and Data Handling

January 2008
By Dan Hebert, Senior Technical Editor

Many process control applications require much more than just real-time control, and extensive communications and data handling can tax the functionality of PLCs. In these instances, a programmable automation controller (PAC) can be a good fit. Most PACs are derived from the PC world; hence their relative strength when it comes to communications and data handling.

A good example of using a PAC instead of a PLC or a DCS is a recently implemented mercury emissions sampling system for monitoring stack gasses in a coal-fired power plant. A DCS would be too expensive and not rugged enough, and a PLC would struggle with the required communication and data handling tasks...