Gibblet

Comparison of Mitsubishi, Allen Bradley & Siemens

11 posts in this topic

Hi all, 

I am in the process of doing a project for some school work and need to do a SWOT analysis of the latest modular PLCs from Mitsubishi (R series), Siemens (S7-1500) and Allen Bradley (ControlLogix). 

So I thought what better way than to ask the people on what they think are the pros and cons of each!

Thanks for your responses in advance!

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This is one of those topics where people are going to answer 'absolutely' based on their experience.  There is potential for high emotions and lots of cheerleading for or against certain manufacturers.  I will provide my viewpoint without really endorsing any one brand.  I have used all three brands.

STRENGTHS - consider cost, availability of product and support personnel.  In my opinion, two of the three have decent software and one has always lagged.  All three offer world-class hardware and capabilities.

WEAKNESSES - The biggest potential weaknesses from my viewpoint are cost and support with software a close third.  Geography has a lot to do with the support.  The best support for Mitsubishi is going to be in Asia, the best support for Siemens is going to be Europe and the best support for Allen Bradley is going to be North America.  (Don't get offended if you offer great support for one of those companies outside of the areas listed.  It is a general rule, not an absolute for EVERYONE who supports the products.)  Two of the above companies are GENERALLY more expensive than the other.  Two of the companies generally have better software than the third.  The company that doesn't have the best software has generally made up for that by making a nearly seamless upgrade path as hardware becomes obsolete.  The other two are quite as easy.  You figure it out.  

OPPORTUNITIES - This is highly dependent on the industry being served.  Each of the three have their core industries that they serve and that is highly dependent on the location of the industry.  All three are in the steel industry and automotive industries, for example.  The main thing that has determined which of those companies are selected in those industries starts with location and the available inventory, support and software.  

THREATS - Again, geography can come to play with all of these companies.  All of them have inventory in all major areas, but not all inventory. These three companies have huge presence in the world, but they don't have everything everywhere.  I have had issues with Mitsubishi and Siemens with lead times on replacement parts because I am in the metro Detroit area.  I have not typically had this issue with Allen Bradley.  I would think the same situation happens with any of the manufacturers if you are trying to source something away from any their "home" continent.

I have purposely not answered your question specifically because there are so many variables.  Strenths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats are all dependent on the individual or company making the analysis as it relates to their particular situation and needs.  Each manufacturer provides claims that their product is easiest to use, has the fastest processor, the broadest instruction set, the most robust hardware.  They are all partially right because each one has their own unique measure of their claims that do not consider what the competitors claim.  Sorry to muddy the water.  All three companies make great products that can control most any process.  All three have broad offerings that all integrated within their families.

I look forward to the responses to see how each fairs on a SWOT analysis.

D

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+1 drforsythe

Very good answer. Another question is how they are investing in the IIoT. MQTT?

Regards,
Garry

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I'd look at Allen Bradley Compactlogix PLCs that have the sweet programming features of the controllogix with a lower price tag and no stupid backplane.

I have avoided the Siemens mostly due to scada driver support and lack of engineers asking for it outside D.O.D. projects.

I've only dealt with Mitsubishi Drives, hopefully their PLCs aren't as convoluted, 

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21 hours ago, drforsythe said:

This is one of those topics where people are going to answer 'absolutely' based on their experience.  There is potential for high emotions and lots of cheerleading for or against certain manufacturers.  I will provide my viewpoint without really endorsing any one brand.  I have used all three brands.

STRENGTHS - consider cost, availability of product and support personnel.  In my opinion, two of the three have decent software and one has always lagged.  All three offer world-class hardware and capabilities.

WEAKNESSES - The biggest potential weaknesses from my viewpoint are cost and support with software a close third.  Geography has a lot to do with the support.  The best support for Mitsubishi is going to be in Asia, the best support for Siemens is going to be Europe and the best support for Allen Bradley is going to be North America.  (Don't get offended if you offer great support for one of those companies outside of the areas listed.  It is a general rule, not an absolute for EVERYONE who supports the products.)  Two of the above companies are GENERALLY more expensive than the other.  Two of the companies generally have better software than the third.  The company that doesn't have the best software has generally made up for that by making a nearly seamless upgrade path as hardware becomes obsolete.  The other two are quite as easy.  You figure it out.  

OPPORTUNITIES - This is highly dependent on the industry being served.  Each of the three have their core industries that they serve and that is highly dependent on the location of the industry.  All three are in the steel industry and automotive industries, for example.  The main thing that has determined which of those companies are selected in those industries starts with location and the available inventory, support and software.  

THREATS - Again, geography can come to play with all of these companies.  All of them have inventory in all major areas, but not all inventory. These three companies have huge presence in the world, but they don't have everything everywhere.  I have had issues with Mitsubishi and Siemens with lead times on replacement parts because I am in the metro Detroit area.  I have not typically had this issue with Allen Bradley.  I would think the same situation happens with any of the manufacturers if you are trying to source something away from any their "home" continent.

I have purposely not answered your question specifically because there are so many variables.  Strenths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats are all dependent on the individual or company making the analysis as it relates to their particular situation and needs.  Each manufacturer provides claims that their product is easiest to use, has the fastest processor, the broadest instruction set, the most robust hardware.  They are all partially right because each one has their own unique measure of their claims that do not consider what the competitors claim.  Sorry to muddy the water.  All three companies make great products that can control most any process.  All three have broad offerings that all integrated within their families.

I look forward to the responses to see how each fairs on a SWOT analysis.

D

Hi, 

Thanks for the detailed response! I can understand your concern about people answering with their feelings rather than facts. However I believe that these are just as valid, after all everyone has to work with these things and experiences them differently dependent on application. So pour your hearts out I say!

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I have over a decade of experience with Mitsubishi's older series like Q, iQ, and FX.  Never touched an R Series.  Haven't worked on a Mitsu project since 2013. I have over a decade of experience with Omron as well.  Very limited exposure to Siemens S7-200, limited exposure to Rockwell (MicroLogix, CompactLogic, SLC500) and a bunch of other miscellanous ones along the way.

Based on my experience, and i warn you now that this is my OPINION, I think Omron has a better product in the NX Series.  The pluses in my eyes include :

  • Built in motion control functions on every CPU, no extra motion modules to buy or software to use
  • Built in EtherNet/IP so you have both a controller and data collection network
  • Built in EtherCAT for remote I/O, intelligent devices, motion control, and safety network
  • One truly integrated software (Sysmac Studio) for PLC, HMI, motion, servo, safety, vision, with no yearly maintenance costs

 

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On 3/13/2020 at 1:00 PM, Crossbow said:

I have over a decade of experience with Mitsubishi's older series like Q, iQ, and FX.  Never touched an R Series.  Haven't worked on a Mitsu project since 2013. I have over a decade of experience with Omron as well.  Very limited exposure to Siemens S7-200, limited exposure to Rockwell (MicroLogix, CompactLogic, SLC500) and a bunch of other miscellanous ones along the way.

Based on my experience, and i warn you now that this is my OPINION, I think Omron has a better product in the NX Series.  The pluses in my eyes include :

  • Built in motion control functions on every CPU, no extra motion modules to buy or software to use
  • Built in EtherNet/IP so you have both a controller and data collection network
  • Built in EtherCAT for remote I/O, intelligent devices, motion control, and safety network
  • One truly integrated software (Sysmac Studio) for PLC, HMI, motion, servo, safety, vision, with no yearly maintenance costs

 

Doesn't Mitsubishi have inbuilt CC-Link IE Field Basic in their latest generation? Is inbuilt networking something you deem a 'must have' in today's market?

Look forward to you response. 

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On 3/12/2020 at 4:13 PM, NevergoldMel said:

I'd look at Allen Bradley Compactlogix PLCs that have the sweet programming features of the controllogix with a lower price tag and no stupid backplane.

I have avoided the Siemens mostly due to scada driver support and lack of engineers asking for it outside D.O.D. projects.

I've only dealt with Mitsubishi Drives, hopefully their PLCs aren't as convoluted, 

I would compare the CompactLogix however this has to be a modular PLC not a compact PLC. I definitely think the market for modular is shrinking due to so much intelligence being in compact PLCs nowadays. 

Would you care to go into greater detail about what programming features Allen Bradley has? I know they use a Tag based system which is easier than using addresses. 

Cheers

Gibblet

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The compactlogix is modular.

AOI, UDT, ST, FBD, LL, Ether/IP, 2 PID routines.

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CompactLogix comes in many varieties.  Some have no on-board IO and use modular IO on the 1769 Bus.  Others have some on-board IO and provisions to talk to 1734 Point IO via EIP.

They also have safety rated versions with 1734 Point IO of the safety type thus eliminating the new for hardwired safety relay circuits or a third party safety controller.

There are also motion versions of the CompactLogix with varying numbers of controllable axises.

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THe L24 and L27 both will take up to four modules, All of them support Ether/ip assemblies or EIP

 

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