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Rent-a-PLC for Programmers


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Okay, I just got an interesting idea.


Problem: Unitronics will probably never have enough time or manpower to implement a software PLC simulator.


Fact #1: Most Vision and UniStream PLCs can be equipped with an Ethernet port.

Fact #2: The PLC you need for application debugging is almost never on your local distributor's stock. (Murphy's law!)


Solution: Unitronics makes a rent-a-PLC farm: a room with every PLC they produce, each connected to Internet via a VPN firewall.


If a programmer needs a PLC to test and debug his app, he pays some hourly fee, and gets VPN access to PLC's Ethernet port. From there he can download his app, and carry out testing over Remote Access or VNC. If he needs to reboot his rented PLC, he either accesses a power-control web interface which flips 24VDC on the PLC supply, or contact an attendant with whom he solves the problem via live chat or Skype.


Thus, the coders will get to test their apps on real-world hardware, and Unitronics (or some other company hosting the PLC farm) will get extra income.


$20/hour seems like a good starting fee. What do you think? :)

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  • 1 month later...

Yes, I would love if Unitronics would do that. 
I am begginer and have a lots to learn, so it would be nice if I could do/test/learn.
There is a software - VirtualPLC but it doesn't support a PLC I am working curently on.

I really want something ( emulator, rent,...) So I can work and learn even when I am not at the office.
I am backing up your Idea kvlada ;)

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