At Alp, we are implementing an automation control system for our Hybrid Micro Biomass Power Plant Prototype without Programmable Logic Controllers (PLCs). Instead, it relies on a smartphone compatible system to perform mechanical processes at an industrial level. There are 2.1B smartphone users in the world and over 1 billion functional smartphones are replaced every year. The UN Environment Programme says e-waste from smartphones will top 50m tonnes per year. Smartphones have the right balance of hardware and software for computational processing and communication functions typically performed by Programmable Logic Controllers (PLCs).
As the technology develops it has become increasingly reliable for rugged industrial applications that require resistance to dust, moisture, temperature and impact. A smart phones data communication capabilities are often superior to even high-end PLCs. Moreover, a parallel system can be formed by linking multiple units for industrial redundancy in backup and safety functions.