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To: Subscribers PLCopen Newsletter
Subject: PLCopen newsletter Issue April 2007


Welcome to the PLCopen electronic newsletter.

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PLCopen Newsletter - Issue April 2007.

Topics:

1. Meet us at the Hanover Fair, Germany
2. Meet us at the University of Vigo in Spain
3. Meet us at FA/PA event in Beijing, China.
4. New workgroup started: Cyber Security of Control Systems
5. New activity in TC1 – Standards - preparing for the 3rd release of the IEC 61131-3 standard.
6. New workgroup started: Motion + Safety
7. PLCopen Benchmarking at next level


1. Meet us at the Hanover Fair, Germany

Visit PLCopen at their booth during the upcoming Hanover Fair, from April 16 till 20 in Hall 9 – H68, and check the status of the specifications and the new activities, while enjoying a Dutch coffee or a drink, or drink one of the many beer marks to choose from while using your own PLCopener as gift.
Hope to see you all at this event.
Eelco van der Wal, Managing Director PLCopen

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2. Meet us at the University of Vigo in Spain

On both April 26 and 27 PLCopen will hold presentations at the University of Vigo in Spain during the CCAI (Ciclo de Conferencias de Automatización e Ingeniería) Conference, as well as for the university itself.
For an overview of the program, check http://ccai.uvigo.es/control.php .

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3. Meet us at FA/PA event in Beijing, China

On June 21 till 24 the 11th International Modern Factory / Process Automation Technology & Equipment Exhibition, 2007 FA/PA, event will be held at the Beijing International Exhibition Centre of China. The event is organized by Cameta, which also provides the basis for PLCopen China.

PLCopen will have a booth during this event, supported by local PLCopen China members.
In addition, PLCopen will hold several presentations at the conference in parallel, especially on Thursday June 21 on PLCopen Motion Control.

This is a good time to meet and discuss the activities that are going on in China as well as world wide.
For more information check http://www.cameta.org.cn .

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4. New workgroup started: Cyber Security of Control Systems

With more and more controller being equipped with an Ethernet interface, and even Internet access, the security issues are becoming more and more relevant for our market. Evaluations by CERN, the European Organization for Nuclear Research being derived from the French Conseil Européen pour la Recherche Nucléaire, near Geneva, Switzerland showed that this definitely is needed. CERN has a very open structure giving all the participating member countries access to their control systems, and as such, to their vulnerabilities.

For this reason PLCopen will start a new working group, called Security. The goal is to define a test bed and a set of routines, implementing a set of software tools and scripts to perform these test, and making this available to the public in order to be able prove a level of networking security within a broad set of control systems.

Or other wise stated: a basic set of requirements and procedures for the cyber-security of control systems will be defined. Due to efforts in the open community, it is not the idea to create new tools, but to use those tools that are available and accepted in the community already – although normally outside the scope of industrial control. In the end, the suppliers have to commit themselves to these procedures, and show their customers that they fulfill these. Moreover, to stimulate these tests, PLCopen plans to make them readily available to the open market, so even other parties like users can do these tests. Or at least refer to them in their tenders.

The kick-off meeting is planned for May 3 in Frankfurt am Main, Germany. This is a face-to-face meeting with all participants involved where missing items are identified, and homework divided over the participants in improving the test procedures. If you want to participate and/or contribute, contact PLCopen.

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5. New activity in TC1 - Standards preparing for the 3rd release of the IEC 61131-3 standard.

TC1 – Standards – preparing for the 3rd release of the IEC 61131-3 standard.
Since 2006, PLCopen in the person of the Managing Director is an official liaison of the IEC WG7 TF3 - IEC61131-3 Programming Languages (as well as the other parts). One of the reasons is to work on the 3rd edition of the standard. All the work going on in PLCopen, as well as the multiple implementations and new challenges to cope with, create wishes to change certain sections and add certain features to the standard.

The work on this started on the kick-off meeting on January 16, 2007, resulting in a rejuvenation of the activities in this Technical Committee 1 – Standards. During this meeting all proposals as gathered throughout time at PLCopen were presented and discussed. This meeting was followed the week after by an IEC WG7 TF3 meeting in Florida, including proposals from other parties.
The next TC1 standards meeting will be held on May 2 in Frankfurt am Main. The intent of this meeting is to agree from a PLCopen member’s point of view on the proposed changes. These changes will then be submitted to the IEC WG7 TF3 with the request to start the procedure for working on the 3rd edition of the standard. In effect this means that this new edition will still take several years to conclude. However, if you see potential improvements in the current edition, contact PLCopen to add these to our working list.

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6. New workgroup started: Motion + Safety

The combination of logic, motion, and safety in one environment provides the user with a harmonized view to the overall application in one software environment, including the safety and functional applications.

In practice this offers less educational efforts and simpler transfer of knowledge and application software between different controls. Also, it tackles the ‘not-invented-here syndrome’, which is often a cause of errors and additional costs, in particular in the safety application. By using pre-defined and tested functionality, combined with support in the programming environment, including language definition with subsets of functionality, one is able to add the safety related aspects to the application programs for easy commissioning.
With the safety environment and related function blocks defined, and even the first products available on the market, there is a need to clarify the combination of motion and safety.

Safety functionalities like mode selector, safely reduced speed, and several stop functionalities, have a direct link to the motion control.
This new activity wants to provide examples of this combination, making it easier and more natural for the user to integrate safety in their motion and logic application. This is a daunting task, since decomposition of a whole production line in several machine functionalities is foreseen, which again need to be handled per function on logic, motion and safety. However, the benefit is clear: guidance at this level is the basis for a smoother acceptance and usages, and moreover all suppliers need to create these examples anyhow, so a joint effort is effective.
User and educational institutes are invited to help specify the examples as well as the decomposition.

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A benchmark is a reproducible, portable test to measure the performance of a given system in comparison to other systems. Nowadays there are no standard benchmarks available for industrial controllers. For this reason the PLCopen Task Force Benchmarking was started with the goal to offer a standardized method in terms of defined test scenarios in order to have an objective way of finding realistic performance data for different platforms (benchmarking).
For this the following use cases were identified:

1. PLC manufacturer: Internal in-house tests for benchmarking different CPUs
2. PLC manufacturer/Software suppliers: Internal in-house tests for different code generators
3. PLC manufacturer/Software suppliers: generate test suites for their customers
4. End-user (automotive industry, process industry…): will compare PLCs from different suppliers
5. Machine builder: is looking for a PLC which fits to a special application
6. Machine builder: needs to support different brands and wants guidance
7. Independent Test Labs: supply and sell test results to everybody

The Benchmarking technical specification was released for comments in 2006. The comments were overall very positive, with only minor changes to the specification.
With this, we entered the next stage: the creation of the test scripts. For this two meetings were held this year, on January 11 and March 8. The basic test scripts were provided and largely approved. These scripts will be finalized soon, so the first tests can be done to approve this. The final test scripts will be made available for free to download for PLCopen members only. PLCopen will do no official certification: Benchmarking is either self certification or by a certification office.

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Kind regards,
Eelco van der Wal
Managing Director PLCopen

New address and numbers:

PO Box 3009
NL 4200 EA Gorinchem, the Netherlands
tel.: +31-183-660261
fax: +31-183-664821
email: evdwal@plcopen.org
Do not forget to look at http://www.plcopen.org