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Status TC2 – Task Force Motion Control

Within Technical Committee 2 there is only 1 subcommittee active: Task Force Motion Control

The work within this task force is going on now for many years. It resulted in the following documents:

  • Part 1 – PLCopen Function Blocks for Motion Control – version 2.0 released March 2011. This document merges Part 1 and 2.
  • Part 2 – Extensions – released Sept. 2005 as Version 1.0;
  • Part 3 – User Guidelines – released as version 2.0 (February 2013)
  • Part 4 – Coordinated Motion – released as Version 1.0 in December 2008;
  • Part 5 – Homing Procedures – Version 2.0 now released
  • Part 6 - Fluid Power Extension - Version 2.0 now released


Work on the basics - Part 1 and 2

In 2007, in Sankt Augustin Germany, we started a new phase in PLCopen Motion Control – the update of the basic specification, known as Part 1 – Basics, and Part 2 - Extensions. With multiple implementations and many applications running, more and more feedback came in at PLCopen for items to be clarified or changed, as well as additions. All these comments were merged in 2 new documents: a “Corrigendum” for the clarifications and changes, and an “Addendum” for the additions. (Note: these documents at the current stage are only open for PLCopen members). These lists were discussed during the meeting, and on many items a decision was made. One of these decisions was to merge both Part 1 and Part 2 in one document to provide a better overview of these basics. This new specification, version 2.0, has now been released.

More information on Part 1 and 2


Part 3 – User Guidelines – Version 2.0  released in February 2013

This part contains guidelines for users and examples. The first release was as version 0.3 in April 2004. The second release, version 0.4, was released in April 2008.
This part was always intended to have multiple on-going releases. In this way new examples could easily be added. The focus now is on adding functionalities as described in the OMAC Packaging Workgroup software specification. This means that we will show users on how to create their own function blocks with these defined functionalities based on the existing function blocks and the standard IEC functionality. With this, users can easily adopt different control algorithms or routines in their own library, and make them available throughout their companies.

More information on Part 3

Part 4 - Coordinated Motion - Version 1.0  released  

Part 4 brings the work in Motion Control at a new level. Part 4 of the PLCopen suite of specifications is focused to the coordinated multi-axes motion in 3D space. In order to work in 3D, several coordinate systems are applicable, as well as a kinematic model of the mechanics involved. The coordinate systems include the axes coordinate system, the machine coordinate system and the product related system.
Part 1 and Part 2 of the PLCopen Motion Control suite deal with Master / slave motion control, a type of coordinated motion control where the master axis position is used to generate one or more slave axis position commands. For three dimensional movements, one goes beyond this point via a grouping of a set of axes, without a master axis.
The current Master/Slave axes have the problem that if an error occurs, the other axes have no knowledge about this, and continue their movement. By combining axes in a group one knows upfront which axes are involved and has the basis for a better error behavior.
The level of the PLCopen Motion Control Function Blocks are specified at the user level: the PLC programmer quickly recognizes the functionality of the function block and what happens if it is activated or connected to other blocks in a sequence of motion commands. Path oriented movements are programmed either with specific robot oriented programming languages, or “G-code” (for instance cf. DIN 66025) as used in the CNC world. Both consist of a relative small number of users. But without a doubt, the movements which can be described in these languages are applicable to a broader area of use. This PLCopen initiative transforms the functionalities as known in the CNC and Robotic world to the PLC world. With this, an additional part is added to the range of PLCopen Motion Control specifications.

The official release, version 1.0, can now be downloaded from this website. 

More information on Part 4

Part 5 – Homing Procedures - Version 2.0 now released

Part 5 – Homing is a complete new document, which was published in November 2005 as Version 0.99 – release for comments. It is coupled to the extension of the homing functionality, as defined in Part 1. It normalizes multiple homing procedures, as well as the description of a general homing software tool to add additional homing modes for applications not yet covered. We know that there are additional application areas, which have different needs for the homing functionality. Since it is impossible to define all homing modes upfront, it is more practical to define a homing tool combine with basic modes.

More information on Part 5


Part 6 - Fluid Power Extension - Version 2.0 now released

A new initiative in the Motion Control working group, to extend the specifications to fluid power.
The initial goal is optimizing programming and integration of fluid power devices and systems by defining function blocks employing PLCopen standardization and modular methodology. 
The kick-off meeting for this activity took place on June 23, 2009.

More information on part 6


Logic, Motion and Safety - Results published now

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, for both the safety and the functional applications. The published document provides examples and guidance for the combination of the different technologies and is available for download as version 0.41.


The Motion Control specifications can be dowloaded from this website.