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Structuring with SFC
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PLCopen starts
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To:                   Subscribers PLCopen Newsletter

Subject:            PLCopen® Newsletter April 2016



Welcome to the PLCopen® electronic newsletter.

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PLCopen Newsletter - Issue April 2016


1. PLCopen Coding Guidelines, version 1.0 now released

2. PLCopen Training certification

3. E-learning for IEC 61131-3 based on CODESYS

4. Meet us at Industrial Automation Beijing, China

5. Pre-announcement annual PLCopen General Meeting



1. PLCopen Guidelines, version 1.0 now released


The PLCopen Coding Guidelines version 1.0 as part of the Software Construction Guidelines initiative is now available on our website for downloading.


Although there are guidelines for many programming languages, these are nearly non-existent for the important area of industrial control, e.g. IEC 61131-3 and its PLCopen extensions. Nevertheless, the software in the industrial environment is becoming more and more important, the software projects are larger, and the costs of errors increase. Software nowadays absorbs half of the initial project costs and between 40 and 80% deals with maintenance over the life cycle costs of the software. In order to deal with the complexity of larger programs one needs modern software development processes supporting a structured approach and creating re-usable code. Also, we need to increase the efficiency in coding via re-use of pre-defined functionalities and to help to better understand the program over the life cycle.


PLCopen supports this goal via their initiative Software Construction Guidelines. Within this activity several sub-groups are identified, and the first activities are near results.

The first result was via publishing the “Release for Comments” of the Coding Guidelines in July 2015, containing 63 rules for software programming, spread over different sections like: Naming Rules, Comment Rules, Coding Practice, Languages, and even Vendor Specific IEC 61131-3 Extensions.

These rules are very useful to train users and can be a good basis for universities to help them teach IEC 61131-3 programming more efficiently, as well as to define company-internal guidelines.

This first document was very well accepted in the market, resulting in many feedback items.

The feedback resulted in the first official version which is now available on our website.


Since the release of the first documents, further work was done on the following topics:

•           Creating PLCopen compliant Function Block Libraries

•           Structuring and decomposition via SFC (do’s & don’ts)


Both areas are close to publishing their first results. The libraries are giving guidance and examples to create own libraries. For this templates are provided for the two basic Function Blocks operation differences: edge-triggered or level-triggered. This basis is extended with time-out functionality and a timer to spread an operation over multiple operating cycles. The included examples shows also the basic code, also in the object oriented approach as provided by the 3rd edition of the IEC 61131-3 standard.


Additional working groups active under the Software Construction Guidelines will focus on the following topics:

•           Guidance for documentation in software programs

•           Software quality issues and software consistency

•           Software development process

•           Object orientation in the 3rd edition


The results of the different subgroups will be made available on the PLCopen website on an on-going basis.


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2. PLCopen training certification


Two of our members recently renewed their certification as PLCopen certified training center:


The Automation Research Centre of the University of Limerick in Ireland, and

Selectron Systems AG in Switzerland


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3. E-learning for IEC 61131-3 based on CODESYS GmbH is a PLCopen Certified Training Center and has released an e-learning course

for IEC 61131-3 based on CODESYS V3. You can benefit from the many advantages of e-learning

(cost reduction, personalization, real-time access, time optimization, etc…) and learn IEC 61131-3 and CODESYS through a 45-hour, modular based curriculum and receive a PLCopen certification.

More information about


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4. Meet us at Industrial Automation Beijing, China


The IA Beijing takes place in Beijing, China from May11-13 at the Beijing Exhibition Centre.


The show is an authoritative transaction and promotion platform for industrial intelligent and automated products in northern China.

Check: to find out more about this show.


PLCopen has a booth in hall 1 # 06 and the Managing Director Eelco van der Wal will attend. Come and meet him there.


On May 11 there will be an International Summit on Industrial Control and Communication Technology, organized by PLCopen China with interesting presentations on Communications and Industry 4.0. View the details on our website.


Preliminary to the IA Beijing fair, PLCopen China is organizing Motion Control Trainings from May 8 – 10 at the office of RIAMB (Beijing Research Institute of Automation for Machinery Industry). The program is available on our website.


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5. Pre-announcement annual PLCopen General Meeting


We are planning the PLCopen General Meeting for this year on Tuesday May 31 in Amsterdam - The Netherlands. All PLCopen members can participate to this meeting. If you are interested please contact us for more details.


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Kind regards,


Eelco van der Wal

Managing Director PLCopen


P.O. Box 3009

NL 4200 EA Gorinchem, The Netherlands

Tel. +31-183-660261

Fax +31-183-664821





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