We specialize in legacy Indramat motion control technology, but we still like to keep up with trends in industrial motion control. One we’ve been watching with interest is the idea of controlling industrial machinery with a personal computer.
Companies from Boeing to Hollywood lighting designers are bringing PCs into the industrial control mix. Some commentators suggest that the use of a PC is a reasonable cost-cutting measure, while others figure there are already plenty of PCs around and people feel comfortable with them. A PC can do other things, too, instead of being useful for just one thing.
There are some issues, though.
For one thing, the environment may not be appropriate. PCs are optimized for use in homes and offices, not industrial settings. PLCs are adaptable in ways that PCs really are not.
For another, there are very few industrial motion control needs that can be handled by a PC out of the box. Creating and configuring custom software can be a pricey undertaking — and compatibility issues are almost sure to raise their ugly heads. If not now, then down the road as some elements of the system change and others don’t.
There’s also the question of support. Rexroth is still supporting Indramat components from the 20th century. If you have something rigged up in house, who will provide support? If the name of the guy who rigged it up comes to mind, then who will provide support when he moves on?
If you need support for your Indramat industrial motion control systems, we’re the guys to call for support. Put our number in your phone right now, so you won’t have to waste valuable time looking for it later.