This is a hot topic in every services based company. Often the manager question the engineers about what the solution should be based upon. Here are a few things which we need to consider before deciding what to propose:
- The time: Time is probably the most important deciding factor to decide. Embedded systems need some considerable time on R&D. They often need revision both in firmware as well as hardware. This may cause to miss the opportunity window. And the opportunity is missed, R&D and expertise aren’t going to buy investment returns and the very continuation of business is endangered.
- The application: Often the application itself defines what to use. A small wrist watch like device for patient pulse monitoring can never use a PLC. Similarly PLCs are preferred in industrial applications. This reduces the dependency on a particular control developer and the industrialist can choose from the pool of control engineers readily available in the market.
- The quantity: Small quantities favor PLC as the investment in R&D does not worth small quantity. PLC is ready-made product and with right application development skills you can save some investment on time hence the profit is better. When the quantity is huge, Embedded control systems are preferred choice.
- Your expertise: You are a PLC expert and have never taken a commercial project based on embedded systems, go with PLC. If you confident on your embedded skills then try to en-cash that.
- Development budget: Who will invest in R&D when the customer is only willing to pay which hardly covers the equipment and installation costs? Embedded controls need special investment during the development process. If there are available modules which need to be integrated, even then there is development cost which can not be over-sighted or ignored.
- End solution price per unit: Price per unit decreases with increase in quantity and Embedded controls favor this.