A modern PLC

Design Insights: Building a Better PLC; Component Selection in Medical Equipment

May 3, 2021
A review of the day’s top trending stories from Machine Design editors.

Building a Better PLC

The programmable logic controller is more than 50 years old, but its basic function to manage manufacturing processes is pretty much the same as when it was first conceived. As this week’s Machine Design article notes, advancements in computing power means “today’s PLCs can now synchronize servo drives or control complex process loops while transmitting data and supporting a human-machine interface. A sophisticated PLC can straddle more than one level.”

It also can impact more than one part of the plant. Another Machine Design article details the impact PLC design has had on machine control, including more app-based architecture and improved hardware and connectivity.

Component Selection in Medical Equipment

There have been a lot of stories over the past 18 months on medical issues, but they’ve all largely been focused on the pandemic and manufacturing’s responses to the global crisis. It can be hard to remember that along with all of the concerns over COVID-19, there’s still a lot of chronic and emergency medical issues that aren’t related to COVID, and work continues to provide innovation for those specialties.

As a new Machine Design article notes, “Today’s healthcare providers have access to more powerful, more reliable, and more diverse types of tools at their disposal to help diagnose and treat patients. There are also non-invasive wearable devices such as personal monitors that can help patients measure their vital signs such as heart rate, blood pressure and blood sugar, as well as record and report the results to care coordinators remotely.

“Today’s smallest medical devices include tiny implantables that can help sustain life and manage chronic conditions, such as cochlear implants for correcting hearing loss, and pacemakers to help manage heart conditions such as arrhythmia.”

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