Electronic – Why use PLC instead of microcontroller


Why does everyone use PLCs in industrial environments, instead of a microcontroller based solution?

For a longer task, the PLC program is as complicated as a microcontroller program.

A microcontroller based solution may be more customisable, and of lower price.

Best Answer

I'd think a major factor is people. The engineers that can design a microcontroller to run a factory are busy making batches of small devices. Engineers that work on brand name PLCs use standard software packages, they don't have to deal with lower level programming, most problems they encounter someone else has already solved with that hardware (comms to strange devices, IO issues, PIDs). Also the engineers are interchangeable, with a good spec or code commenting you don't need the engineer that built a system there when you need to change the code.

It's also a bit like asking why would someone buy a PC when they could build their own.

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