Many food and beverage plants have a need for distributed control architectures. Distributed control allows selected subsystems to each have their own controller, with these controllers linked back to the main control platform via Ethernet.
These distributed controllers improve performance because they can react very quickly without burdening the main control platform. This function can be very useful for high-speed control applications, such as dosing of micro ingredients. In addition to better performance, reliability is increased because the local controller executes its programmed logic without the need for communication with the main control platform.
Advantech's family of smart Ethernet-based I/O modules is a good fit for distributed control applications as each includes Graphic Condition Logic. This features allows users to define control logic rules through graphical configuration utility software and then download these defined logic rules to specific I/O modules. Each module then executes the logic rules automatically, acting as a standalone controller.
These modules also includes an Ethernet port for connection back to the main platform, along with a webserver which allows access to the modules from any PC, smartphone, or tablet capable of running a web browser.