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Why PC-Based DAQ Solutions are Your Smart Choice


When it comes to choosing the right systems for an IoT solution, we have a variety of PLCs and Industrial PCs to choose from. This often leads to comparisons which can provide valuable insights into the decision-making process. However, instead of relying solely on comparisons, let's consider using the needs of our project as a point of reference to make the Smart Choice.

When defining the architecture of an automation/control network, we have specific needs that must be met by the solution, such as measuring what's happening in the IoT network, running algorithms, and performing actions that respond to the respective measurements taken. If we simply consider any system capable of measurement and control, it takes us to the point where specific details determine which is the best solution.

The first key element is the speed at which the control must react to the measurement to properly control the endpoints of the network. Balancing a broomstick vertically in hand is an exercise that illustrates this. The process of adjusting must be done in seconds or even milliseconds to counteract the slight angle of the broomstick before it tips, keeping it vertical.

With this analogy, we're trying to convey the importance of knowing the speed of the changing states of the IoT network. The control system must be faster than the speed of those changing states, with a minimum frequency of 10kHz. As a general rule of thumb, the control system should run at least ten times faster than the endpoint we intend to control. This is where PC-based DAQ systems can excel since they offer that capability.

However, speed is not the only factor to consider when making the Smart Choice for PC-based DAQ systems. There are other reasons why they may be the best option, such as:

  • Flexibility to run any operating system, including Windows or Linux, as well as event-driven real-time operating systems that perform predictable and deterministic tasks for critical endpoints. This OS versatility allows us to customize PC-based DAQ systems to meet specific requirements.
  • Ability to process and store large amounts of data. This is particularly useful with usages like surveillance and object recognition where large amounts of data need to be stored locally and complex algorithms with significant processing power are required.
  • Scalable performance. Demanding and complex algorithms may require significant processing power, which PC-based DAQ systems can provide. The processor can range from Intel Atom on the low end up to high-performing Intel Xeon processors on the high end, enabling a greater range of flexibility than other control systems.

As technology progresses, it is certain that the amount of data in our IoT networks and the complexity of the processing algorithms will continue to rise, requiring more capabilities from our control systems. The scalability of Contec’s PC-based DAQ systems makes them perfectly suitable for your IoT networks where performance requirements are expected to increase over time. Your design teams are challenged with making Smart Choices, and if you're unsure about what's best for your networks, feel free to contact us for assistance. We offer abundant documentation and online help so you can get all the information you need on our products and solutions.

In conclusion, when choosing control systems, it's important to consider the specific needs of your IoT network rather than simply relying on general comparisons between PLCs and Industrial PCs. By evaluating the speed at which the control must act and other factors such as operating system versatility, data storage capacity, and processing power requirements that may increase over time, we can determine when a PC-based DAQ system is the Smart Choice for our project. Visit our e-shop to see all our catalog of DAQ products.

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