Touchscreens are the latest form of interface to be applied to the control of polymer conveying systems. A touchscreen can be made to operate either a programmable logic control (PLC) or a microprocessor-based control. Touchscreen control interfaces have multiple advantages versus membrane interfaces, which have a limited number of light emitting diode (LED) display characters. The touchscreen interface can be graphical in appearance and animated to enable intuitive setup and monitoring of operation. The touchscreen interface uses an open-protocol programming language and can be easily customized. Touchscreens are readily available, are industry tested and have a long service life.
A good match of control systems to plastics conveying equipment is important for a system to operate efficiently, whatever its size and capability. Some plants use simple self-contained loaders with built-in controls, others use central systems with up to 20 vacuum pumps and 120 receivers. Determining what conveying controls to use can be a complex process, but help is available.