Products and Technologies
CTC maintains a broad range of technologies in the form of standard product platforms that can be purchased off-the-shelf by our customers. For most applications, we’ll assist you in crafting a solution from one of these platforms…
4400 Series Touchscreens
Available in a variety of configurations, including NEMA4/IP65-rated front panels and memory capacities to 256MB, in screen sizes up to 10.4 inches. Model 4400 touchscreens may be configured with EasyBuilder Pro user interface software, available as a free download.
Over the course of its 35+ years, CTC has developed expertise and a strong base of hardware and software in all principal areas of control technology. We are a consistent innovator and leader in the following areas…
As the first company to fully integrate motion control into a general purpose controller, CTC is well aware of the importance of high-performance, multi-axis servo and stepping motor control in automation. High-level motion commands, along with specialized motion processors and an architecture supporting the most complex, data-driven multi-axis applications, combine to create the optimum control environment for motion-intensive applications.
You can read more about some of our standard motion capabilities on the Motion Control Technologies page.
An early-adopter of direct Ethernet connectivity, CTC was awarded fundamental patents on the incorporation of webserver technology into programmable controllers. Today, we support a broad spectrum of industrial protocols including:
- Modbus® TCP(client and server)
- Modbus® RTU(client and server)
- DeviceNet® (master and slave)
…and others, most of which are supported natively for the highest possible performance.
CTC also considers human-machine interface (HMI) to be an integral part of the control design process. To the greatest degree possible, we have integrated HMI capabilities into our controller frameworks, and also provide innovative tools such as qMon, a monitoring app that runs on the iPhone/iPad platform (check out the video, below).
Even in those applications not traditionally thought of as “process control”, there are increasingly compelling needs for precise analog data acquisition.
Of course, our customers in the net weighing industry have always required precise, rapid analog measurement, and the capability is central to semiconductor manufacturing and a host of other materials processing applications. But now many products are subjected to in-process measurement and testing, frequently with the results being captured in a database for long-term storage, and analog sensing has become a more universal requirement.
Capabilities present in the standard CTC product families include:
- High-density (16 point), high-resolution (16-bit) input and output modules.
- Interfaces include ±10V., ±10mV, 4-to-20 mA, thermocouple, and balanced differential inputs.
- Electrical isolation, including some with individual independent isolation.
- Integrated digital filtering.
Apart from hardware, programming language is the main determinate of performance in control systems, as well as playing a major role in the ability to quickly create bug-free code. Early in our history, CTC recognized that “state languages” were the best fit for most automation applications, and pioneered Quickstep as a clear, efficient approach to programming in our systems.
Most industrial automation applications — especially those in discrete manufacturing — possess a natural sequence of events. The fastest and clearest way to express such a sequence is through a program which mimics that sequence. This is exactly what a state language does, by expressing a program as a sequence of “states”, or steps, that the program progresses through as it executes. This is shown in the simplistic jelly-donut-filling sequence in the diagram.
Asynchronous events and parallel sequences can be easily — and clearly — expressed using multi-tasking. Because of the straightforward one-to-one correspondence between the operation of the process and the program, fewer bugs result, programs are easier to troubleshoot, and later modifications can be much faster. There is also an execution time benefit, since a controller only has to execute the active steps at any instant.
A full discussion of this approach, its historical context and a comparison to other programming approaches may be found in the white paper State Language for Machine Control.