PLC Allows Remote Machine Monitoring, Maintenance

By John Teresko You're snowbound at home, but it's imperative that you check a setting on that troublesome production machine at the plant. That's just one scenario where a Web-enabled programmable logic controller (PLC) could help, says Schneider Electric's Automation Business, North Andover, Mass. With its Momentum M1E line of PLCs, the Internet can be used to make process adjustments, obtain production information -- even compare and supervise process status at multiple sites. In addition the easy access to process status can help executives allocate new orders to plant sites having idle capacity. OEMs who incorporate the PLC in their equipment also can use the capability as a maintenance tool. Using a standard Ethernet interface, the PLC links to the Web via a built-in Web server. With this easy access to the production floor, plant engineers need no longer be envious of other business functionaries who have long been able to work at home.

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