PLCopen is an independent worldwide organization providing efficiency in industrial automation based on the needs of users. It was founded in 1992 and has its headquarters in The Netherlands with supporting offices in the USA, Japan, and China.
As an association, PLCopen is depending on its income through its membership fees. It supports a multi-level membership, ranging from suppliers to educational institutes. PLCopen strongly supports the user community. Its members, representing various industries, focus on harmonization of control programming, and application and interfacing engineering.
Software plays an ever increasing role in industrial automation. Thus 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 and IEC 61131-3 provide a basis to achieve this.
PLCopen and its members have concentrated on technical specifications around the IEC 61131-3 standard in order to reduce costs in industrial engineering. This resulted for example in standardized libraries for different application fields, harmonized language conformity levels, engineering interfaces for exchange, and transparent communication. Experts of the PLCopen members are organized in various technical committees and together with end users define such open standards.
Today’s technical challenges in the industrial control market are changing, and PLCopen follows the demands of the market requirements with the main focus of driving efficiency in automation by defining general standards. Current topics are: Motion Control and Safety functionality, XML data exchange format standardizing the base data of IEC projects in software systems, and mapping to the OPC Unified Architecture for transparent Communication. Also in the future, the practical automation tasks will be challenged by new industry demands and new products and PLCopen will remain focusing on global harmonization.
The PLCopen activities of standardizing base functions help you to increase your efficiency in automation control technology and to reduce your costs so you can focus on your core competence. The PLCopen organization offers a solid base for harmonizing principle technological challenges and a platform for members to work on these.
If you are active in industrial control, think about joining our organization as a member. This will give you direct influence on our technical and commercial issues. PLCopen offers a number of membership categories. The annual membership contribution depends on voting and non-voting rights, the number of relevant employees involved with control software and the nature of the organization.