PLCopen - Standardization in Industrial Control Programming

Eelco van der Wal, Chairman
P.O. Box 3009
NL-4200 EA Gorinchem
The Netherlands
Phone: +31-183-660733
Fax: +31-183-664821
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Introduction to IEC 1131-3 and PLCopen

IEC 1131-3 Software plays an ever-increasing role in industrial automation. With this, the associated software costs increase, even to the point that it becomes the highest part of the total system. And not all costs are directly visible: the required maintenance over the life cycle, adding new functionalities, coping with new governmental rules. To control these costs, one needs higher efficiency during the application development, while increasing the software quality.

PLCopen as an organization active in Industrial Control, is creating a higher efficiency in your application software development: in one-off projects as well as in higher volume products. As such it is based on standard available tools to which extensions are and will be defined.

With results like Motion Control Library, Safety, XML specification, Reusability Level and Conformity Level, PLCopen made solid contributions to the community, extending the hardware independence from the software code, as well as reusability of the code and coupling to external software tools.

Since its foundation in 1992, PLCopen has grown into a professional worldwide association with around 100 members. This is supported by a high percentage of user members, and our “one member - one vote principle”, making the association independent of any single company.

PLCopen is a vendor- and product-independent worldwide association, headquartered in the Netherlands, with supporting offices in the USA, Japan and China. For the organization click .

One of the core activities of PLCopen is focused around IEC 61131-3 , the only global standard for industrial control programming. It harmonizes the way people design and operate industrial controls by standardizing the programming interface. This allows people with different backgrounds and skills to create different elements of a program during different stages of the software lifecycle: specification, design, implementation, testing, installation and maintenance. Yet all pieces adhere to a common structure and work together harmoniously. The standard includes the definition of the Sequential Function Chart (SFC) language, used to structure the internal organization of a program, and four inter-operable programming languages: Instruction List (IL), Ladder Diagram (LD), Function Block Diagram (FBD) and Structured Text (ST). Via decomposition into logical elements, modularization and modern software techniques, each program is structured, increasing its re-usability, reducing errors and increasing programming and user here. For the organization, click here.

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