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Designing DCS’s with IEC 61131 compliant controllers

01 May 2012

Increasingly, machine builders are faced with distributed control systems. In general, it is possible to design distributed control systems with IEC 61131 compliant controllers. However, you need some manufacturer-specific additions to achieve this.

In order to close this gap, PLCopen and CAN in Automation (CiA) have called on experts to address the necessary functionalities, including the standardisation of communication mechanism for starting and stopping other controllers, to share computing power and other resources, to support fault tolerant systems, and to react on events generated by other controllers.

One one of the basic ideas that came out of the first meeting of the organisations to discuss this issue, is to be able to link variables in different engineering systems via a top level architecture in an easy way. For this, the concept of a proxy function block was presented and discussed.

Via PLCopen XML it is possible to make the interface available to the higher level engineering system, which can generate a proxy based on the imported functionality which can be exported the relevant information to the other engineering system while representing the overall structure.


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