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FlowconDesign. Hardware-design

Hardware Design Philosophy

Use standard PC compatible computer hardware
Allows multiple sources for computers.
Standard motherboard, memory, case, power supply, hard drive and floppy drives.
Standard peripherals; keyboard, monitor and UPS supply.
Minimizes costs using components in high volume production.
Customer repairs possible from local suppliers.


Use standard I/O hardware and relays.
Electricians can purchase replacement parts that are multiply-sourced (Opto-22, Gordos, etc.)
Loss of a critical supplier will not render the entire system obsolete.


Use a custom-designed in-house interface board
  1. Minimize the number of add-on cards, and frees up  computer slots by combining all required interfaces (scales, relays and event clock) into one card.
  2. Allows Flowcon full control over the interface, eliminating unknown and recurring third-party bugs. Allows us to optimize the driver software for speed and reliability.
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Unified hardware solution:
Other methods using PLC technology  are inherently less flexible and limited in their capabilities.
A PLC's "real time" response varies with the number of tasks.
They do not easily support the graphical interface.
Operator input cannot compete with the simplicity of a keyboard.
I/O access cannot compete with our 100 micro-second latency, and 50 milli-second scan rates.
PLC language limitations severely limit flexibility.
The flexibility of PC based control eliminates time otherwise spent integrating unrelated hardware components and feature limited  software.
Labor being the greatest cost, rapid development is essential to keeping costs down.


A PC based solution is a simpler hardware solution.
Having fewer hardware issues:
Greatly simplifies the installation
Lower initial hardware costs, and reduced installation effort.
Shortens the down time while testing for the failure.
Allows for a complete "slide-in" backup solution.
Reduces support costs.