March 2018

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PLCopen Newsletter - March 2018

1. PLCopen Functionalities in Industry 4.0
2. PLCopen Structuring with SFC do’s and don’ts, Version 0.99 Release for Comments
3. PLCopen OPC UA Information Model for IEC 61131-3, Version 1.01.09 Release for Comments
4. PLCopen welcomes new members
5. New PLCopen Motion Control certifications

1. PLCopen Functionalities in Industry 4.0

Industry 4.0, or Industrie 4.0, is a movement that has great impact on the world of industrial automation.

Within this activity, an Administration Shell has been defined. Within this shell the physical aspects of the assets are defined in eClass. However the functionalities of these assets and components are not defined, while many of these are specified by PLCopen, like done for motion control, safety and communication. These PLCopen specifications provide a well-defined suite of functionalities, covering the basic range. In addition there is a framework defined by PLCopen related to the definition of function blocks with a focus to the definition of user specific libraries. With this one can encapsulate larger functionalities which are linked to the higher levels of integration. This helps to do the engineering of a new machine more easily and to provide a more decomposed and reusable structure in the software development, making it easier to add new wishes.

For this reason PLCopen started a new working group in December last year to make a proposal to the Industry 4.0 initiative on how to map the existing PLCopen functionalities to the Industry 4.0 Administration shell.

Contact us if your company is a PLCopen member and you want to contribute to this working group.

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2. PLCopen Structuring with SFC do’s and don’ts, Version 0.99 Release for Comments

This document explains the advantages of Sequential Function Chart, SFC. This is a very expressive graphic formalism of the IEC 61131-3 standard. It is not considered a programming language as it needs other languages to express transition conditions and actions.

SFC provides a means for partitioning a programmable controller program organization unit into a set of steps and transitions interconnected by directed links. Associated with each step is a set of actions, and with each transition is associated a transition condition. Since SFC elements require storage of state information, the only POUs which can be structured using these elements are function blocks and programs (not functions).

If any part of a program organization unit is partitioned into SFC elements, the entire program organization unit shall be so partitioned. If no SFC partitioning is given for a program organization unit, the entire program organization unit shall be considered to be a single action which executes under the control of the calling entity.

Whenever a sequential process shall be controlled, SFC shall be considered as most suitable for structuring the internal organization of a POU especially in the Functional Description:

  • When the process consists of several steps to be executed sequentially in a time flow, for example an assembly process, SFC can be used to map the different phases of assembly as steps and structure the process as sequence of steps.
  • When the process can be modelled as a state machine, these states can be mapped to steps and changing from one state to another can be structured by transitions.
  • SFC structures the internal organization of a program, and helps to decompose a control problem into manageable parts, while maintaining the overview.

To make it possible to include your feedback and your comments on the usability of this specification, it is now made available as a V0.99 – Release for Comments. The deadline for your comments is April 20, 2018. Comments can be made directly in the pdf file and sent back.

The document can be downloaded from the PLCopen website.

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3. PLCopen OPC UA Information Model for IEC 61131-3, Version 1.01.09 Release for Comments

The original specification was created by a joint working group of PLCopen and the OPC Foundation and released in 2010. It defines an OPC UA Information Model to represent the IEC 61131-3 architectural models.

It is important that the controller as a main component of automation systems is accessible in the vertical information integration which will be strongly influenced by OPC UA. OPC UA servers which represent their underlying manufacturer specific controllers in a similar IEC 61131-3 based manner provide a substantial advantage for client applications as e.g. visualizations or MES. Controller vendors reduce costs for the development of these OPC UA servers if an OPC UA Information Model for IEC 61131-3 is used.

With the 3rd edition of the IEC 61131-3 standard and some additional wishes from the implementers, an update was needed. The final version 1.01 will have the major changes in Table 26 – Mapping IEC 61131-3 elementary datatypes to OPC UA built in datatypes, which in addition contains a new column with a NodeID for each type , and in Table 39 – Numeric Identifiers for IEC 61131-3 defined nodes.

But before the official release of this minor update we want to make sure that this document fits your needs, meaning we want your comments. For this reason this new specification has been released for comments as Version 1.01.09 until March 30, 2018. The document, as well as the feedback form can be downloaded from our website.

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4. PLCopen welcomes new members

PLCopen is very pleased to announce two new members:

  • SIG (Software Improvement Group) based in The Netherlands. A consultancy company on software development processes.
  • Festo, a worldwide leader in automation and a world market leader in technical training and development. Their innovative automation solutions include electric and pneumatic drive technology. Festo is also a leader in industry 4.0 integration with digitalisation in pneumatics, and decentralised PLC intelligence using Codesys and PLCopen to offer consistent and seamless solutions from the mechanics up to the cloud.

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5. New PLCopen Motion Control certifications

We are glad to announce that the following PLCopen members have been awarded the PLCopen Motion Control Certificate:

B&R Industrial Automation for version 5.00.0 of their products

  • PLCopen Motion Library (PLCopen Motion Control Part 1)
  • mapp Motion/mapp Axis/Libray McAxis (PLCopen Motion Control Part 1)
  • GmcGrpAPI (PLCopen Motion Control Part 4).
  • mapp Motion/mapp CNC and Robotics/Library McAxGroup (PLCopen Motion Control Part 4)

KEBA for their products:

  • KeMotion, version 3.12 (PLCopen Motion Control Part 1), and
  • KeControl FlexCore, version 1.12 (PLCopen Motion Control Part 1)

Kingstar for version 3.2 of their product KingStar Soft Motion (PLCopen Motion Control Part 1).

Lenze Automation for version 3.x of their product FAST Motion (PLC Designer) PLC Motion Control Part 1 & 4).

Siemens for version 2.5 of their product SIMATIC S7-1500 T-CPU (PLCopen Motion Control Part 4).

3S-Smart Software Solutions for version of their products CODESYS SoftMotion (PLCopen Motion Control Part 1) and CODESYS SoftMotion CNC + Robotics (PLCopen Motion Control Part 4).

This brings the total number of certified companies to 33 and of certified products to 69.

For more information please check our website

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