A programmable logic controller, or PLC, is an industrial computer that controls the manufacturing process by empowering designs and machine updates. In fact, PLC has been referred to as the “Workhorse of the Industrial Automation,” since controls engineers can develop complex solutions for multi-functioning systems. These industrial computers are used in various industries, and there are many PLC manufacturers. So, which PLC brand should you use? Learn here which are the top 20 PLC brands.

How to Evaluate a PLC

The first PLC, the Modicon 084, was invented by Dick Morley for General Motors in 1968. Since then, PLC has become one of the most important technologies of the third wave of the Industrial Revolution. While their importance cannot be overstated, they aren’t all the same. Each PLC brand has its own unique design, so it’s critical to understand how to evaluate a PLC.

There are three main features to focus on when analyzing a PLC. These three features are:

  • Performance and Usability
  • Hardware
  • Support

Each one is crucial to evaluate the top 20 PLC brands.

Performance and Usability

There are several criteria to determine performance and usability. These include a PLC’s speed, reliability, output, ease of operation, and integration. For example, integration focuses on the ability to communicate with third-party devices, and import/export tags from Excel.


To evaluate a PLC’s hardware, you need to analyze the ease of installation for a PLC. Installations vary, depending on which PLC brand you choose. For instance, Siemens PLCs can be plugged into a majority of standard 24V DC power supplies. This means a much more limited amount of hardware compared to other PLCs.


Finally, customer support is an integral feature. A PLC brand support provides technical support and field service for troubleshooting. So, which PLC you choose may depend on the level of support you need.

Top 20 PLC Brands

Here are the top 20 PLC brands today, in alphabetical order:


Bosch Rexroth

B & R Industrial Automation

Delta Electronic


Emerson (General Electric)





LS Electric

Mitsubishi Electric



Phoenix Contact

Rockwell Automation / Allen Bradley

Schneider Electric



Yokogawa Electric

So, if you want to find top controls engineer talent, reach out to Applied Resource Group. As Atlanta’s top staffing firm, we deliver high-performing controls engineers who are knowledgeable in the top 20 PLC brands.