How to distinguish and select motion control card and PLC?

Motion control card: based on PC interface, because of the powerful function of PC, the motion controller composed with PC has the strongest function, but its working stability and reliability are poor. The motion control card is inserted into the PC host through a PCI slot; Develop using advanced programming languages such as C++, C #, VB, * * *. NET, and labview; Use the control card API interface functions provided by the motion control card manufacturer in programming to achieve the use of control card resources; The motion control card controls the servo motor or stepper motor by sending pulses to the servo or stepper driver, and controls the IO of relays, sensors, cylinders, etc. by reading input signals and controlling output signals; The main advantage of motion control cards lies in utilizing the powerful functions of PCs, such as CAD, machine vision, and advanced software programming; Utilizing the functions of FPGA+DSP/ARM+DSP chips to achieve high-precision motion control (multi axis linear and arc interpolation, motion following, PWM control, etc.).

The Motion control card has the following distinctive features:

(1) The hardware composition is simple. Insert the motion controller into the PC bus and connect the signal line to form the system;

(2) Can use the rich software already available on a PC for development;

(3) The code of motion control software has good universality and portability;

(4) There are many engineering personnel available for development work, and there is no need for too much training work to proceed with development.


PLC: Its main function is to perform logical control of switching values, and it has simple motion control (linear trajectory control), calculation, data processing, and other functions. Usually, a touch screen is used as the human-machine interface. It has the advantages of reliable operation and simple programming, but its motion control function is relatively simple. The application process of PLC mainly relies on PLC+HMI, which greatly limits the visualization interface. The biggest problem in practical application is that the mapping function cannot be achieved; Nowadays, due to the rapid development and application of machine vision, the integration of PLC and machine vision is very difficult; At present, some manufacturers provide PLC with a machine vision solution, where an independent PC processes the visual part and sends the processing results to the PLC, which then applies the received data for operation. This approach increases development costs, and a control system requires two sets of software to execute. 

PLC has the following distinct characteristics:

  1. Easy to use and simple programming
  2. Strong functionality and high cost performance ratio
  3. Complete hardware support, convenient for users to use, and strong adaptability
  4. High reliability and strong anti-interference ability
  5. Low workload in system design, installation, and debugging
  6. Small maintenance workload and convenient maintenance


Difference between motion controller and PLC:

  1. Motion control card: A motion control card is a circuit board that controls the movement of motors, such as stepper motors and servo motors. It can be used to control the speed, position and acceleration of the motor.
  2. PLC: A programmable logic controller (PLC) is an industrial digital computer which has been designed for the specific purpose of controlling machines and processes. It uses a programmable memory to store instructions and execute specific functions such as logic, sequencing, timing, counting and arithmetic operations to control machines and processes.

To distinguish between motion control cards and PLCs, it is important to consider their main differences in terms of functionality, cost, size and complexity. Motion control cards are typically more cost-effective than PLCs due to their smaller size and simpler design. They are also easier to use since they require less programming knowledge than PLCs. However, they are limited in terms of features compared to PLCs as they cannot perform complex tasks such as data logging or communication with other devices. PLC are more expensive than motion control cards but offer more features due to their larger size and more complex design. They can be programmed for complex tasks such as data logging or communication with other devices. They also require more programming knowledge than motion control cards but offer greater flexibility in terms of programming options. When selecting between a motion control card or a PLC for a particular application, it is important to consider the cost, size, complexity and features required for the task at hand before making a decision.

Here are several PLC products from our company:

1.Allen-Bradly:1769-OF8V, 1769-L33ER, 1769-L18ERM, 1766-L32BXB, 1757-SRM, 1756-ENBT

2.OMRON:CVM1-PA208, C500-OC224, C500-ID218, CV500-RT211

3.B&R :2CP104.60-1, 2CP200.60-1, 2DO428.6, 2DI426.6, 2PS740.9,2AT300.6,,2DS100.60-1

4.SIEMENS:6ES7223-1PL22-0XA8, 6ES7214-2BD23-0XB8, 6ES7221-1BH22-0XA8,  6ES7231-0HC22-0XA8, 6ES7232-0HB22-0X