I've been given a project that sort of bridges the electrical/PLC and PC/software world.
I have to take a 24VDC photoeye and 24VDC encoder (1/4" to 1/2" pulse @ 540FPM ~ 1 pulse every 2.3ms-4.6ms) input and store their derived measurements in a database.
Essentially I am measuring how many pulses the photoeye is blocked to get box length, and how long it is unblocked to get gaps between. Storing both the gap in front, the length of the box and the current time in a table/database and repeating.
Program wise I know a PLC is the best solution, but storage wise, I need this to be stored preferably in a database (CSV, MySQL) so that it can easily be exported to excel and analyzed for throughput and the like.
Thus I was looking at using a compact X86 based PC communicating with some type of 24VDC IO Arduino microprocessor to receive and process the IO, and then send to the PC and the PC will take care of storing the data, calculating gaps and length and handling HMI. The Arduino would likely also take input from the PC to control outputs.
Is this the best solution? Are there lower cost PLC's that can do this type of data storage while keeping the data easy to extract? Will an Arduino be capable of accurately picking up 2-4ms signals?
Thanks for the help guys!