July 2022

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PLCopen Newsletter - Issue July 2022

  1. PLCopen Guidelines for Object Orientation - Application Examples for Motion Control, version 0.99 Release for Comments
  2. Changes in Board of Management of PLCopen
  3. PLCopen participates in 3 events in China


1.   PLCopen Guidelines for Object Orientation - Application Examples for Motion Control,  available as version 0.99 - Release for Comments

With the PLCopen specification “Function blocks for Motion Control”, the PLCopen Task Force Motion Control provided a set of standardized Function Blocks to ease modularization and reuse of motion control software.

The new document that PLCopen is now releasing presents an object-oriented implementation of the motion control specification, which can be combined with the set of procedural standard Function Blocks (FBs). The general design of the proposed object-oriented (OO) implementation is a single Axis Class implementing different functions as Methods instead of formerly used multiple FBs. A benefit of the proposed software design is the compatibility with procedural motion control FBs: the standard FBs can call the Axis Class internally to combine both approaches in one application. Thus, the user of the OO implementation needs not to be familiar with the detailed OO principles or language elements for using it.
As common in object-oriented programming (OOP), an interface is used to define the motion standard since it describes how a class is presented to the outside (sometimes including the behavior). More precisely, an interface is the definition of the functionalities that a class may implement. The class is the actual implementation of the defined functionalities, including vendor-specific aspects. Correspondingly, this document standardizes a motion interface. For using this standard, an axis class needs to be implemented, which follows (“implements”) this standardized motion interface. In short: the interface defines the functionalities, but not how they are implemented (their content), which is done vendor-specific in an axis class.

Utilizing three application examples, this document shows how the standardized FBs from the PLCopen motion control specification can be ported to OOP by using a standardized interface itfAxis. To apply the standard in a vendor-specific implementation, the programmer develops a class, which implements the interfaces itfAxis and, thus, has all the functions standardized in itfAxis without implementation. Then the actual, vendor-specific implementation of these functions is programmed.
The advantage of the proposed interface itfAxis is that one can decide how to program: on one hand, the standard FBs can be used, and they can internally call the itfAxis methods. On the other hand, it is possible to program in OOP by using the defined methods to start a new command, get the current status of an axis, and update or abort a command.

The details on the proposed interface and the contained methods as well as several user-defined data types are introduced in the document.
This document focuses on the motion control part of the axes only. In real projects, the axis class will have many other properties and methods for communication, hardware configuration, and additional aspects. For simplicity, these are not explained in this document.

We have now published the document “Application Examples for Motion Control – Porting Function blocks for motion control into OOP”, version 0.99 as Release for Comments. We look forward receiving your feedback and comments on this document by August 31, 2022 latest. Comments can be made directly in the pdf file and sent back to PLCopen. With this feedback, PLCopen will create the official release 1.0

The document can be downloaded from the PLCopen website.

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2.   Changes in Board of Management of PLCopen

On June 28, PLCopen had a successful annual General Meeting in Amsterdam. Part of the meeting related to elections in the Board of Management.

Manfred Werner of Codesys was re-elected as member of the Board of Management and as Treasurer.

Boris Waldeck of Phoenix Contact has taken up other responsibilities within his company and left the Board of Management.
His colleague Carsten Weber was instead elected as member of the Board of Management and as Secretary. He is the head of product management for Software and Safety at Phoenix Contact Electronics located in Lemgo, Germany. He started to work with IEC 61131-3 engineering software in 1999 as a service and support employee and did also PLCopen certified standard IEC 61131-3 trainings at customers for Phoenix Contact Blomberg. In 2003 he moved to the daughter company KW-Software as a service and support technician and later to the technology sales department. Since 2012 Carsten is the responsible product manager at Phoenix Contact for IEC 61131-3 compliant engineering tools. “I got in touch with the PLCopen organization very soon after I started to support IEC 61131-3 compliant engineering software and was at first very impressed about the PLCopen XML specification. Now this became part 10 of the IEC 61131. That is one of the ideal examples of how effective and important this organization is. It is absolutely an honour for me to become a member in the board of this organization to help to improve automation engineering in the future!”, says Carsten Weber.

End 2021 Steffen Stang of Siemens took on new responsibilities outside his company and left the PLCopen Board of Management.
Dr. Efrossini Tsouchnika was proposed and elected as new member of the Board of Management. She is managing the Business Line Software and Virtual Control and the System Line Industrial Communication at Siemens, based in Erlangen, Germany. She joined Siemens in 2008 as a research engineer for Digital Twins and later led various projects and teams. In 2018 she moved to the Process Solutions Business Unit (today Siemens Energy) as the head of strategy & digitalization, with the responsibility for project execution for digitalization business. As of 2022 she is responsible for the SW Controller and the Industrial Communication business within Siemens, Digital Industries, Factory Automation, Control. “From my past in the solution business I know how important interoperability and standardized libraries are for control programming. I am happy to join the PLCopen Board of Management and to contribute to further defining open standards”, says Efrossini Tsouchnika.

PLCopen sincerely thanks the parting members for their work as member of the Board of Management and welcomes the new Board members. We look forward to our cooperation in the coming years.

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3.   PLCopen participates in 3 events in China

The Integrated Automation, Motion & Drives Shenzhen takes place from 14 - 16 September, 2022 in the Shenzhen Convention and Exhibition Centre. It is the most populated automation trade fair in South China.
PLCopen will have a booth at this event. More info: https://www.iamdshenzhen.com/En/

The Industrial Automation Show (IAS) in Shanghai is scheduled from September 26-30, 2022.
It is the industry barometer for the China automation market and takes place at the National Exhibition and Convention Center.
PLCopen will have a booth in Hall 5.1H #285. For more info check https://www.industrial-automation-show.com/En/

The Chengdu International Industry Fair is going to take place at Western China International Expo City in the city of Chengdu October 19-21, 2022.
The CDIIF event is dedicated to display the future look of the industry, and to put focus on China’s intelligent manufacturing. The product categories include process automation, machine vision, industrial robots, new generation of information and digital factory solution, metal working and laser equipment, industrial components and new material etc.
PLCopen China has a booth in Hall 10H # A061. To learn more on this event: http://www.cdiif.com/en/index.php/welcome.html

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