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The programmable controller (PC) has many sophisticated capabilities, such as minicomputer type instructions, user friendly network communications, high reliability with built-in maintenance diagnostics, and a wide range of reliable input/output (I/O) modules. The PC's easy-to-use computerlike operating functions allow it to compete against minicomputers in the industrial environment. User friendly programming allows factory implementation where multiple PC's may talk to each other, to a computer, or to other peripheral devices without a software specialist. Cost and features of the PC permit the industrial user to automate his factory with high reliability and redundancy as capital funds become available. The potential of distributed PC's In the automatic factory is discussed.