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PAC:see political action committeepolitical action committee
(PAC), U.S. organization formed by a corporation, labor union, or association to raise money for political activity. Funds can be gathered by voluntary contributions from members, employees, or shareholders.
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PAC(1) See perceptual audio coding.
(2) (Programmable Automation Controller) A programmable microprocessor-based device that is used for discrete manufacturing, process control and remote monitoring applications. Designed for use in rugged, industrial environments, PACs combine the functions of a programmable logic controller (PLC) with the greater flexibility of a PC. They are also more easily set up for data collection and integration with the company's business applications than PLCs.
Although each PAC vendor uses its own development environment (IDE) and programming language, PAC networking is typically based on IP and Ethernet. Taking advantage of off-the-shelf microprocessors, PACs were developed in the 1990s to provide a single industrial controller that would provide the functions of a DCS and PLC. The term was coined in 2001 by the ARC Advisory Group (www.arcweb.com). Contrast with PLC and DCS.
|PACs in Operation|
|The large white boxes are Opto 22 SNAP PACs in Chevron's Richmond, Virginia research facility. Processing the PID loops, the wires come from thermocouples that sense pipe temperature in a laboratory test that analyzes the best way to break down crude oil. The PACs determine when to raise and lower temperatures, and the three modules with the black sockets send digital signals to the heaters (cables not connected in this image). (Image courtesy of Opto 22, www.opto22.com)|