Many industrial automation applications require integration of components from multiple suppliers often with incompatible communication protocols. One way to integrate these different components is with protocol converters but these can be expensive, particularly as each converter only provides a single function.
A better approach, in many cases, is to use an industrial PC as the protocol converter. Not only can the PC talk to components from many different suppliers via different communication protocols, it can also perform real-time control. Add an industrial monitor, and you now have a complete, low-cost distributed control system.
Advantech's Control Cabinet PCs can communicate to components from different suppliers via Profibus DP, Profinet, EtherCat, EtherNet/IP, RS-232, and RS-422/485. These PCs also support many different types of discrete and analog I/O modules and can drive an industrial monitor, making them well-suited for machine and device/field control applications.