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Difference between PLC and RTU

Difference between PLC and RTU

Are you a process control engineer who is looking to purchase a new controller? If so, you may be wondering what the difference between PLCs and RTUs is. In this blog post, we will explore the differences between these two types of controllers and help you decide which one is right for your application.

What is PLC?

  • PLC is an acronym for “programmable logic controller.” PLCs are industrial computer controllers that are used to automate a variety of tasks in manufacturing and other industrial applications.
  • PLCs are designed to be rugged and reliable, with the ability to operate in harsh environments. PLCs can be programmed to perform a variety of tasks, such as controlling machinery, monitoring process data, and managing inventory.
  • PLCs are typically used in industrial applications where there is a need for high reliability and performance. PLCs are also used in a variety of other applications, such as automotive, aerospace, and military.

What is RTU?

RTU, or remote terminal unit, is a type of industrial controller that is used to monitor and control remote devices. RTUs are typically used in applications such as RTUs are commonly used in applications such as monitoring and controlling electric power systems, water distribution networks, and oil and gas pipelines.

  • RTUs can be used to monitor and control a wide variety of parameters, such as temperature, pressure, flow rate, and level. RTUs are typically located at the site of the device being monitored or controlled, and they communicate with the central control system via a communication network.
  • RTUs are typically equipped with a variety of input/output (I/O) modules that allow them to interface with the devices they are monitoring or controlling.
  • RTUs can be either stand-alone units or they can be part of a larger distributed control system (DCS). RTUs are often used in conjunction with programmable logic controllers (PLCs) to provide a complete solution for monitoring and controlling industrial processes.

Difference between PLC and RTU

PLC and RTU are two common types of devices used in industrial automation. PLCs, or programmable logic controllers, are more flexible than RTUs and can be programmed to perform a variety of tasks. RTUs, or remote terminal units, are typically used for simpler applications such as monitoring data from sensors.

PLCs are more expensive than RTUs, but their flexibility makes them well-suited for applications that may change over time. PLCs can also be used in applications where RTUs would not be able to handle the workload. PLCs are typically used in manufacturing settings, while RTUs are more commonly used in utility and telecommunications applications.


The main difference between a PLC and RTU is that a PLC processes information while an RTU sends commands. However, both devices are used to control and monitor industrial systems.

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