How to improve PLC system resiliency to reduce risk and downtime
Affordable redundant controller options have expanded as control systems have progressed in the last decade. Programmable logic controllers (PLCs) have gained extensive processing and communication capabilities and aren't just for machines and small systems anymore. Redundancy in PLCs used to be complex and expensive, so manufacturers and OEMs reserved them for critical applications. Today’s redundant control systems offer value in price and performance. Redundant PLC systems can be easily integrated to increase uptime, enhance security and system maintenance in applications, such as metals and mining, oil and gas and continuous applications like food processing. Redundant PLC systems are further enhanced by today's edge control technologies, which combine traditional PLC functionality and PC computing. Designers and end users need to consider the implications of a single point of failure, whether that’s power, networking, computing, instrumentation or something else. Full redundancy, either in primary/secondary configurations or as parallel installations, is one strategy for improving high availability. Darrell Halterman, senior manager of product management, PACSystems, Emerson, will explore flexible, cost-effective high-availability solutions and factors to consider when selecting or building redundant control systems.