Horner OCS – The Ultimate Automation Multi-Tool

What is the OCS controller? Technical information

The OCS controller series are a set of controllers that  combine the functionality of  a PLC and a HMI in a single compact component. The controller offers control, a built in and remote I/O, an operator interface and impressive networking abilities. OCS controllers are connected to machinery with the use of the WebMI software package. This means the controller is connected to the internet and is considered part of the the Internet of Things (IOT). 

Some of the key features that come with an OCS controller are as followed;

  • Free integrated web server
  • Free IEC 61131 configuration tool-Cscape
  • Integrated HMI and logic programming
  • Secure Cyber-security
  •  Level-Based Object Security
  • IOT protocols – Internet of Things
  • HTML5 & Scalable Vector Graphics (SVG)

If you would like to find out more about the technical capabilities, see our article here. We also have this older article about the OCS range that should be of interest as the content is still relevant here.

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Click “Download OCS Powerpoint” below to access our PowerPoint with more case studies. Note you must have an account to do so.

Click “Read more about OCS Applications” to see our wide list of application of controllers.

Why this controller is a great option and what does it allow you to do?

There are many upsides to the OCS range. The first of these is that they can be configured with a single software package. An example of such a software package would be Horner’s WEB MI. This makes it a great option for any application that uses a PLC.

An OCS controller provides the users with the ability to remotely monitor and control their machinery. This ability to work remotely applies to your laptop, mobile phone and tablet. The ability to do this on the go, gives your you and your business many freedoms. For example, you can work on something else, in the knowledge that you can monitor your machinery in an instance. Should there be an issue with your machinery, you will get an instant alert to not just tell you something is wrong but what.  This post will later give some real life examples of this. 

Where does the name “all in one” come from?

The OCS controller gets it’s all in one from its high levels of flexibility and adaptation. One can say the OCS controller is the “Swiss Army Knife” of machine controllers. This flexibility can be expressed in a number of ways. 

  1. It is a controller that can be applied to a wide range of industries. For example, machine monitoring, lighting control and data logging. A full list will be provided below. 
  2. The controller has more functionality than a traditional PLC. This includes;
    1. A built in operator interface.
    2. Multiple serial ports to plug in devices.
    3. Extensive Ethernet protocol support.
    4. Built in web server
    5. Built in micro SD support.
    6. IIOT Protocol (MQTT Sparkplug) support.

Imagine you are in a plant that has a wide range of machinery, for example a bakery. Some of these machines might be automated while others might not. Like all machines, these machines may need to support in the form of maintenance. With automation this support can be provided with fewer people which leads to saving for a business.

The OCS controller is not a replacement for the controls on machines in this situation. Rather the controller can help a business monitor many machines on the one screen. This means that individuals who monitor these different machines can instantly identify the machines that need repair/ This saves the business time and therefore money as machines that are functioning as they should do not need to be checked and can continue with production.

The other major advantage of this is that the employee who monitors the screen will see on screen if there is a small issue. Giving machines attention when an issue is only small may prevent a bigger issue in future. If we take the bakery example, if a oven was functioning at 178 C rather than 180 C due to a small malfunction with a fan, this may go unnoticed by the human eye. If unintended this fan may break further and suddenly lose the ability to heat beyond 60 C. Naturally while this is going on the bakery will be unable to bake bread properly and this will lead to huge delays in the production line.

If the bakery has an OCS controller, they will see that a temperature has dropped to 178 C instantly. This means that a small problem can be identified while it is still a small problem and have minimum impact on the bakery”s ability to produce its goods.

Speaking of temperature, the OCS controller is also a fantastic tool for helping a business control the temperatures that their machines produce. The Horner OCS contains the ability to rival a PID (Proportional, Integral and Derivative) controller. Like a PID controller, the OCS controller helps with controlling the flow, pressure and speed that a temperature is applied. But, it also has other advantages.

For example, the OCS controller has a very intuitive interface and can be used as a touchscreen. This makes it a lot easier to monitor machinery and make the often small and necessary changes. Many traditional PID controllers are limited in the networks they support. With Horner there any many ways to connect for example with Rockwell Logic Processors, Ethernet I/O, 3rd parties of Modbus TCP and protocols such as BACnet. The Horner OCS can get temperature loops interconnecting directly with building automation processes.

The model 6 I/O found in OCS XL controllers, has enough build in 1/O to handle at least six PID loops internally and if you utilize remote I/O the controller can handle up to 32.

An example of a business that would find this feature useful would be an incinerator firm. Different materials need heat applied to them at different temperatures and with different pressures. This allows the incinerator firm to maximize how much they can incinerate while saving on energy costs.

The OCS controller is also very versatile in terms of lighting control. For example, with the OCS controller the user can choose which lights to turn on and to schedule when said lights will turn on and off. The OCS controllers have all the I/O one might need for example, monitoring analog inputting and analyse lighting strength for dimming purposes.

A practical example of this would be a large office block. With the use of an OCS controller and/or WebMI on your mobile device, the user can makes sure that lights turn on automatically when people are expected to arrive and turned off at night when employees will not in in the office. Said lights can also be dimmed in summer months and strengthened in winter to reflect the amount of natural light entering the building. Over time this can save a business a substantial amount of money.

The user interface to make these changes is again, easy to follow, user friendly and intuitive. These controllers can be used even if the lights been controlled are not Horner lights.

Remote Alarm Enunciator – The built in I/0 monitors alarm singles given from alarms. Controllers provide users with local and remote with instant notification via email.

Push button relay replacement– Built in I/O to interface or replace existing mechanical operators and indicators. The controller also provides an “Operator Interface” to replace mechanical push buttons. The controller provides an in built logic to allow for the replacement of wired relays and times.

Protocol converter – The controller can work with multiple popular protocols such as

  • Modbus TCP/UDP Client & Server
  • Ethernet IP I/O Device
  • Rockwell Logix CPU Tag Exchange
  • BACnet IP Server

Tank monitor – Includes built-in historical data recording, data logging and the the ability to record during communication outages. OCS provides the ability to connected to a number of different sensors with it’s built in I/O as well as support for wireless communication interfaces.


The OCS controller is a controller that truly earns the name of “all in one”. It is an versatile in terms of it’s I/Os, functions and the vast number of industries it can be used in.

We recommend that you check out our slides on the subject. If you have any more questions get in touch with our team here.