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PAC, the OT/IT integration weapon for upgrading to smart factory

Advantech provides a PAC solution especially designed for industrial automation applications, combining the openness and flexibility of PCs with the reliability of traditional PLCs. Advantech’s APAX-5000 series incorporates CODESYS software, complies with IEC 61131-3, and integrates control, information processing, and network communication functions into a single control system. Its unique multiple control types outperform other PAC products, and it can satisfy the versatility, flexibility, and scalability requirements of industrial automation applications.



Why use the PAC control platform?


Three Major Issues for Control System Updates

Trade-off between
openness and stability

Traditional controllers cannot process complex computing, and traditional computers may provide low stability, making it difficult to maintain reliable real-time operation and open interconnectivity at the same time.

Tedious system integration

Systems at the automated control level and informed management level are not easily interconnected, creating potential problems with data transmission and utilization.

Low scalability,
difficult upgrading

Existing equipment utilizes diverse communication protocols and offers low functional scalability, which may fall short of production line upgrade and reconstruction requirements and make it difficult for system integration.



All-in-One Control Platform

Split OT and IT cores

Fully modular design


Direct database connection


A Complete Solution for Machine Control


“Split Core/Split System” Balances
Real-Time Stability and Open Interconnectivity

In the face of strict and complex application environments, new equipment and production lines need to achieve stability and real-time responsiveness while ensuring openness. Advantech’s PACs utilize different processors for real-time operations and Windows through split core technology, optimizing BIOS and hardware/software, resolving the trade-off between openness and stability with single control cores, improving system stability and production efficiency, and lowering costs.


Real-Time Response Under High CPU Loading

RTE will continue to run even when a software conflict causes an OS blue screen.


Real-Time Response Under High CPU Loading

When CPU and RAM usage are at 100%, the RTE can still respond in real time and perform complex computing operations such as concurrent machine vision and motion control.


100 µs
High-Speed Applications

A minimum communication period of 100 μs can be achieved for acquisition under high-speed equipment conditions.




Highly integrated, the overall system architecture can be optimized from the original five levels into three or even two levels, improving system stability and reducing maintenance costs at the same time.


Powerful CODESYS

The adjusted CODESYS RTE has a shorter configuration time, ensuring efficiency and a more powerful real-time kernel.


Direct Database

On-site data can be connected directly to the database through function blocks, and data uploading may also be done by using VPN or integration of WebAccess.

Dual System in a Single Machine for the Integration of OT and IT

Increasingly more smart factories and smart devices require control systems to complete complex motion, logic, and bus controls while integrating MES and database/human–machine interfaces. Advantech’s PAC split core design integrates the two systems, using the CODESYS runtime kernel that can achieve complex motion control computation in real time. Additionally, the Windows kernel ensures openness for the seamless integration of MES databases.


Modular Design Allows for Equipment Updates

As manufacturing cycles become shorter, equipment should employ a modular design. Advantech’s PAC, with its modular design, supports motion control, bus, and I/O modules, allowing for quick installation and wiring during project construction and testing. In the case of existing equipment being upgraded or having unexpected requirements, all that is needed is the addition of a corresponding module on the original control core.


Flexible I/O Module

Real-time (1 ms) on-site and remote I/O modules support both star and ring topologies, improving system stability and enabling faster and more flexible construction and wiring.


EtherCAT Ring Redundancy

When the ring is accidentally broken, the EtherCAT mechanism can automatically recover without affecting the operating equipment.


Motion Control Combined with Machine Vision

Motion control combined with machine vision provides common vision docks (USB3.0, PoE, and GigE) and the Windows open platform for common vision software.


Success Cases


Electronic Cam Optimizes Loom Productivity to Meet the Challenges of Customization and Flexible Production

▪ Electronic cams replacing mechanical cams
▪ Concurrent support for CAN bus and EtherCAT
▪ Productivity of continuous-speed measuring and positioning equipment greatly elevated from 75 to 120 m/min

Integrating Numerical Control and G-code, Doubling the Efficiency of High-Speed Drill Processing

▪ Integrates logic, motion control, and numerical control
▪ Enables CAD to turn graphics into motion control tracks with G-code
▪ Interpolation motion efficiency increased from 0.8 to 2.0 m/s (per axis)

Integrating IT/OT
to Connect a CNC Processing Soft Production Line with an MES System in Series

▪ High-speed acquisition of 1000 analog signals per second
▪ Regular access of local backup to minimize bandwidth usage
▪ Distributed data acquisition and simplified hardware configuration

Combining EtherCAT to Build an Aluminum Pipe Cutter with Both Speed and Precision

EtherCAT module and servo motor form an aluminum pipe cutter with a 0.5-ms scan cycle
IEC 61131-3 standard provides a flexible programming development environment
Improves the cutting speed and stability of aluminum pipe cutters

PC-Based Integrated Solution Optimizes an Automated Guided Vehicle System

▪ Fanless, low-power, intricate, compact, open platform
▪ Integrating I/O, serial communication, wireless, and human–machine connections
▪ mSATAS SSD, crash-proof software mechanism, SD card single-key recovery

PC-Based Control Platform Realizes Robotic Arm Monitoring and Preventive Maintenance

▪ High-speed acquisition of 1000 analog signals per second
▪ Regular access of local backup to minimize bandwidth usage
▪ Distributed data acquisition and simplified hardware configuration

Good Reviews Throughout the Industry

Within three years of launching, Advantech’s APAX-5580 PAC has been introduced to various projects
around the world and has received good scores in multimedia, association, and user ratings.

"APAX-5580 was designed to fulfill data collection, big data computing and communication needs under Industry 4.0 and focused on Smart Factories Devices Connecting and Machine Controlling applications." "Machine & Embedded Control - PACs, PLCs: The industry’s first modular Control IPC designed for integrating operational and information technology. This is a Control Engineering 2016 Engineers’ Choice finalist."

Selection Guide

The greatest strength of Advantech’s PAC is its completeness, providing a controller for various industrial field applications and distributed data acquisition control systems. Advantech’s PAC range includes programming tools and optional HMI/SCADA software.

Experience the Open Control Platform


APAX-5580 and CODESYS Evaluation Kit

  • APAX and CODESYS control platform
  • One day technical training course
  • Sample code download

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