CNC vs. PLC Software Programs: What’s the Difference?

CNC vs. PLC Software Programs: What’s the Difference?

If you work in the industrial sector, then you know that a wide variety of software programs are available to help streamline processes and increase efficiency. But with so many options on the market, it can be difficult to decide which one is right for your needs.

This blog post will look closely at two of the most popular industrial software programs—CNC and PLC—to help you better understand their key differences.

What Is CNC Software?

CNC or Computer Numerical Control software creates program instructions for CNC machines. These instructions tell the machine how to move to produce the desired outcome. CNC machines are typically for tasks that require high precision, such as cutting or shaping metal.

One of the benefits of using CNC software is that it allows users to create programs offline. This feature means you can design and test your programs without wasting valuable machine time. Additionally, CNC programs can have various input methods, including CAD drawings, sketches, and templates.

What Is PLC Software?

PLC or Programmable Logic Controller software works well to create programs that control automation equipment. PLCs are often used in industrial settings to control processes like assembly lines and conveyor belts.

Like CNC software, PLC software can create programs offline. Additionally, PLC programs can use different input methods, including Ladder Logic diagrams and Boolean equations.

Key Differences Between CNC and PLC Software Programs

Now that we’ve looked at the basics of CNC and PLC software programs, let’s take a closer look at some of the key differences between them.

  1. CNC software creates programs for CNC machines, while PLC software develops programs for automation equipment.
  2. CNC software uses G-code, while PLC software uses Ladder Logic.
  3. CNC software creates programs that tell the machine what tool to use, how fast to move, and what direction to move in. PLC software develops programs that tell the equipment when to start, stop, and respond to various inputs.
  4. CNC software creates programs for machines that cut or shape materials. PLC software develops programs for devices that sort, package, or otherwise automate production processes.

So, which type of software—CNC or PLC—is right for your needs? The answer depends on several factors, including the type of machine you’re using and the nature of the task.

If you choose PLC, having a reputable supplier for PLC parts is crucial. Industrial Automation Co. can provide you with the high-quality PLC components you need to keep your production line running smoothly. Contact us today to learn more!