I have done some or all of the controls for such complex systems as printing presses, slitters, and laminators. Several of these projects included controls for processes running in a vacuum. One system I did was a disk sputtering machine, where I did both the HMI (in Lookout) and the PLC (ladder logic in an Allan-Bradley PLC). This process ran in a vacuum, so the controls included the processes, the vacuum system, and all the motion. The motion system included three independent robot arms, a seven-axis Ormec motion controller, plus many sensors. Communication buses included Profibus, DeviceNet, DataHighway Plus, Serial RS232, and Ethernet. This was a fun project! The vacuum system included eleven turbo pumps, two cryos, five mechanical pumps, and many valves, doors, and gauges. All the vacuum system elements were controlled via DeviceNet. I have also used Intouch Wonderware for the HMI on other projects.
I recently did a solution in LabVIEW for a company who needed to test optical filters. This machine included a 2-axis stage, a scanning laser, a wavemeter, and several detectors. LabView is a perfect solution for systems such as this. We were able to test a wafer with over two thousand filter sites in less than an hour. LabView displays a surface plot for the operator as well as keeping data that can be read by Excel. Part of this project was an off-line viewer so that the surface plots can be read and printed by anyone on the company network.
I also have the expertise and tools to do embedded development using Microchip's line of embedded processors. The Smart Couplers that are explained in other parts of this website are an example of the art of embedded processors. I have done solutions ranging from as small as a simple two-channel pulse-stretcher that used a single 8-pin micro to as large as a multi-processor aircraft control system.
If you would like me to help solve your problem, please call and make an appointment.