PLCs and PACs are similar as they both perform the same essential functions. With modern technology, their differences are becoming more blurred. The most notable difference between PLCs and PACs is their programming interface. PACs are more intricate, using C or C++. PLCs on the other hand, are programmed using ladder logic. These programming differences create distinctions in the architecture and capability between the two computers.
The top machine builders are switching from proprietary hardware-based PLCs, like Allen-Bradley, TwinCAT, Mitsubishi and KEYENCE, to open standards-based EtherCAT-enabled software PLCs on IPCs. KINGSTAR provides a fully-featured and integrated software PLC based on an open and accessible RTOS. KINGSTAR Soft PLC also includes add-on or third-party components for motion control and machine vision that are managed by a rich user interface for C++ programmers and non-developers alike.