looking for cheap controller ideas

I am a tech student as well as an associate controls engineer for a manufacturing company mainly dealing with automotive switches. We mainly only use Beckhoff PLCs and I am looking for a cheaper alternative for our more simple applications. Right now I need something that will count parts going down a chute and alert the operator every 50 parts. It needs to have a visible counter with a button to reset it. I thought this would be the perfect little project to look into a cheap and simple plc or plc alternative and I am looking for suggestions.

Thanks for any input
Automation Direct CLICK series, or for what you describe, just a counter display with a reset button.
Thank you for the input I will definitely look into Automation Direct. I looked into the counter display and I didnt think there was a way to make it alert the operator when it hits 50 parts, I need to add a light and probably a buzzer to go off when it hots 50.