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TC3 - Certification of IEC 61131-3 Environments




One aspect of PLCopen's work is the certification of IEC 61131-3 compliant programming systems. The PLCopen technical committee (TC3) is devoted to issues relating to compliance testing and certification.
The starting point is a document titled "PLCopen Guideline: Compliance Testing & Certification". A product can be certified as IEC 61131-3 compliant at the following levels:

A Base Level, BL, compliant product indicates that the vendor is a serious member of the IEC 61131 community and is committed to use the standard syntax.

A Conformity Level, CL, compliant product shows a much higher level of conformance with the standard. In addition, via the combination with Reusability Level, RL, users are able to interchange Function and Function Block definitions with other RL compliant products.

In addition, this technical committee has defined rules for Benchmarking. In the end this will include freely available test software to compare different systems at application level.

Compliance testing must be performed by a test laboratory accredited by PLCopen according to figure 1. Accreditation will be effective for a 4 year period after which an application for re-accreditation must be made.

Certification of a product as IEC compliant will be performed by PLCopen after compliance testing has been carried out at an accredited test laboratory (see figure 1). The testing will be performed under a private arrangement between the test laboratory and the applicant - PLCopen will not be notified that the test is taking place and will not be informed of any failed test. PLCopen will only become involved when the applicant submits an application for certification accompanied by a successful test report issued by the test laboratory. Certification of a system lasts for 3 years and covers subsequent versions of the system which are declared by the vendor to be compliant. After 3 years the latest version of the system must be re-tested and re-certified.

PLCopen will make a charge for requests for test laboratory accreditation and for system certification. Fees for the accreditation audit and for the compliance test are not the concern of PLCopen but are a matter only for the parties concerned. The PLCopen Accreditation and Certification Body will be the Managing Director.

figure 1

The document "PLCopen Guideline: Compliance Testing & Certification" is available for members.