The Benefits of Digital PLCs in Industrial Automation

April 1, 2024
Phoenix Contact’s Ted Thayer and MxD’s Eric Kozikowski explore the efficiency, connectivity and technical intricacies of digital programmable logic controllers.

In the realm of industrial automation, there is a shift toward digital programmable logic controllers (PLCs) for increased efficiency and connectivity, focusing on data-driven decision making and real-time control.

Ted Thayer, principal product marketing specialist for control with Phoenix Contact and Eric Kozikowsi, lead systems integration engineer at MxD spoke with Power & Motion about the benefits of digital PLCs, including: 

  • Flexibility in coding languages for ease of use and integration 
  • Connectivity with protocols such as MQTT for data sharing and usability  
  • Built-in edge computing capabilities for data visualization and control.

READ MORE: PLC vs. Motion Controllers

In this first of a three-part interview, Thayer and Kozikowski cover the software-centric approach with open operating systems and the varied form factor integration with components such as HMIs (human machine interfaces) and Ethernet switches.

They also discuss how to handle the updating of virtual PLCs, including the control engine residing on the hardware for firmware updates as well as opting for a cloud-based approach. Because the logic of virtual PLCs often reside in a VM-type environment, this enables easy access, modification and updates for safety and security patches. 

Watch additional parts of this interview series with Ted Thayer of Phoenix Contact and Eric Kozikowski of MxD:

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