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From: "Michael Marx"
Subject: Re: Avoiding PLCs
Date: Wed, 16 Oct 2002 23:34:39 +0200
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"Walter Driedger" wrote in message
>> One more time, WE DO NOT WANT SPECIALIZED HARDWARE AND WE DO NOT
>> WANT SPECIALIZED PROGRAMMING.
Rufus V. Smith wrote:
> ( You may also get a less-than-optimum result if the programming
> contractors are not versed in the PLC you specify. Maybe it's better
> to let them create their solution on a platform they know intimately.
> Or select a different contractor.)
this is getting very interesting here. Just look at it from my point of view
We are a German based manufacturer of specialized machinery (for paper
handling & transport, but that does not matter). We have considerable
experience and a good customer base in Europe. Nearly (i.e. 99,5%) all of
our machines are equipped with Siemens PLC which is "the European way" to do
it. It is just the normal and standard thing to do. The Software gets more
and more complicated due to "modern" developments like field bus (i.e.
"Profibus"), operator panels (make "Siemens") and and and ... The systems
are very reliable, and very promising. Much more development to expect in
the near future.
Now we want to go into the US market.
When we mention the word "Siemens" we get a "No No - WE DO NOT WANT
SPECIALIZED HARDWARE AND WE DO NOT
WANT SPECIALIZED PROGRAMMING". It just has to be AB (it is usually that
name), plus odd things like DH or ModBus or FF.
Now, consider the whole thing from another point of view.
We have many many years of experience - and a good and satisfied customer
base - with our Siemens machines. When we switch to AB - God knows what will
happen. The very least thing is that our programmers - possibly with a fresh
AB "starter" course - are not up to the task. Possibly we have to invest
into specialized software companies. The worst thing that might happen? Our
well proven machinery might totally fail, due to missing odds and ends on
the software side. Will this be good for the customer ?!? I doubt it. And
there will be nice clauses in the contract about penalties and such things
It would not be so good for me as the company engineer, either.
We know that Siemens is for Europe what AB is for US - and we are working on
this (similar as EN vs. IEC as standard?). But it may not be so easy as just
saying WE DO NOT WANT SPECIALIZED HARDWARE AND WE DO NOT WANT SPECIALIZED
PROGRAMMING. What is "specialized" depends very very much on your point of
view, doesn't it?
So you might also say that the US way of insisting on "AB" as "standard" PLC
is just another way of keeping international / european companies out of the
US market (and I understand that AB does everything to support this
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