When it comes to factory automation and industrial control systems, there are many options available for hardware and control software. One of the key decisions that engineers and systems integrators must make is whether to use proprietary circuit boards or opt for more open and flexible solutions, such as programmable automation controllers (PACs) from Opto 22. Climate Control Systems chose to use Opto 22’s controllers for its Climate Manager, Fertigation Manager and Ozone Pro systems in 2008
Advantages of the Opto 22
Proprietary circuit boards are often developed in-house or by an external supplier for a specific application. They can offer high performance and reliability, but they are typically designed for a single purpose and can be expensive to develop and maintain. Additionally, if the technology changes or the supplier is no longer available, the system may become obsolete or difficult to repair.
Opto 22, on the other hand, offers open and flexible control solutions that are designed to be easy to use, easy to maintain, and cost-effective. Their PACs and input/output (I/O) systems are built on an open architecture and utilize industry-standard protocols and tools, making them compatible with a wide range of software, hardware, and networking platforms.
One of the key advantages of Opto 22 controllers is their use of plug-in modules, which allow for easy customization and expansion of the system as needed. Modules can be easily added or removed, making it easy to update or modify the system over time. This is in contrast to proprietary circuit boards, which may require significant effort to modify or expand.
Growers Have Greater Control and Flexibility
Opto 22 controllers also offer greater flexibility and ease of use when it comes to software. Users can choose from a range of programming languages, including flowcharts, ladder logic, and Structured Text, making it easier to create and modify control sequences. Additionally, Opto 22’s software tools are designed to be intuitive and user-friendly, reducing the learning curve for new users.
Superior Systems Diagnostics of the Opto 22
Finally, Opto 22 controllers offer superior system diagnostics and troubleshooting capabilities. Their software includes a built-in debugger and simulator, allowing engineers to quickly identify and correct errors in the code. Additionally, their Pac Project software includes diagnostic tools that can monitor and log system performance, allowing for more efficient maintenance and problem resolution. Just some of the many reasons the International Space Station, Disney World/Land and many automotive production lines rely on the powers of Opto 22’s controllers.
In summary, while proprietary circuit boards may offer high performance and reliability for specific applications, Opto 22’s open and flexible control solutions offer many advantages, including easy customization and expansion, flexibility in hardware and software options, and superior system diagnostics and troubleshooting capabilities.