Is The Traditional Programmable Logic Controller Really All That Great?
Let's look at three of the main things that traditionally make up a PLC, and see how Tibbo programmable controllers stack up.
These things are often waterproof, vibration-proof, and generally almost indestructible. This is a good thing, and we wanted to keep that trait of the "traditional" PLC. So, our DS10xx programmable controllers are all IP68 certified, and are extremely rugged.
It Uses Ladder Logic
Many PLCs are programmed using ladder diagrams. As Wikipedia tells us:
An argument that aided the initial adoption of ladder logic was that a wide variety of engineers and technicians would be able to understand and use it without much additional training, because of the resemblance to familiar hardware systems. This argument has become less relevant given that most ladder logic programmers have a software background in more conventional programming languages. (We've added the emphasis).
In other words, there's something outdated about ladder logic. Sure, it's visual -- but that's not always a good thing. When an application coded with ladder logic grows into thousands of lines, it can get very difficult to understand and debug.
In contrast, our programmable controllers use Tibbo BASIC, an easy-to-understand programming language based on BASIC (read more about it on Wikipedia. Because we use Tibbo BASIC, we can offer you large building blocks -- libraries you can use for implementing large chunks of functionality with minimum effort.
Want to have your PLC go online via an ADSL line? No problem, check out the PPPoE library. Want to offer a settings file? Here comes the STG library. And of course, if you don't need these features, you don't have to integrate the libraries into your project. Use just what you need, for the leanest possible result.
It Is Traditionally A Serial Device
Historically, PLCs have usually been made with RS232 communications in mind. Later on we've started seeing more and more models with Modbus, BACnet and other protocols, as well as Ethernet. But this Ethernet connectivity sometimes feels "bolted on", with add-ons and extras required.
In contrast, Tibbo programmable logic controllers were made with Ethernet in mind right from the get-go. These are connected devices, conceived and developed to live online.
Different Isn't Always Better, But It's Often Worth a Shot
We're not saying Tibbo programmable logic controllers are "better" than traditional PLCs. That would be oversimplifying it. But they are certainly different, and that difference can be exactly what you need for your next project.
If you're looking to quickly create a sophisticated, network-enabled control application using rugged hardware, you should give Tibbo PLCs some serious thought.