What is the difference between RTU and PLC?

What is the difference between RTU and PLC?

2019-01-30 09:41:23


RTU (Remote Terminal Unit) is a remote measurement and control unit device that is responsible for monitoring and controlling on-site signals and industrial equipment. Compared with commonly used programmable controller PLCs, RTUs usually have excellent communication capabilities and larger storage capacity, which are suitable for more severe temperature and humidity environments and provide more computing functions. It is precisely because of the perfect function of RTU that RTU products have been widely used in SCADA systems.

Remote Terminal Equipment (RTU) is an electronic device installed at a remote site to monitor and measure sensors and equipment installed at a remote site. The RTU converts the measured status or signal into a data format that can be transmitted over the communication medium. It also converts the data sent from the central computer into commands to enable functional control of the device.



Surveillance control and data collection is a broad term used in systems that centrally control and monitor equipment installed at remote locations. The SCADA system can be designed to meet a variety of applications (water, electricity, gas, alarm, communications, security, etc.) and meet customer requirements for design metrics and operational concepts. The SCADA system can be as simple as a switch connected to the far end via a pair of wires, or complex to a computer network. It consists of many wireless remote terminal devices (RTUs) and communicates with powerful microcomputers installed in the central control room. 

The remote terminal equipment of the SCADA system can be implemented with a variety of different hardware and software. This depends on the nature of the controlled site, the complexity of the system, the requirements for data communication, real-time alarm reporting, analog signal measurement accuracy, status monitoring, device regulation control, and switch control.

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