TC5 on Safety releases extensions to the basic Safety specification

In February 2006, PLCopen published its Safety Specification Part 1 – Concepts and Function Blocks for Safety Functions. Since then it became obvious that additional functionalities were needed. The additions are partly dealt with in a new document: Part 3 – Extensions to the Function Blocks.

These new function blocks extend the scope of the specification, and harmonize the diagnostics interface for easier handling by the user.

This new specification has now been released for comments until June 22, 2012 as version 0.99. The document, as well as a feedback form for your input, can be downloaded from PLCopen.

New activity: Engineering of Distributed Systems

PLCopen has started a new activity in cooperation with CAN in Automation.
The kick-off meeting for this event was held in February. During this meeting the goals were defined and the first ideas were generated.

Increasingly machine builders are faced with distributed control systems, in particular in medical devices, in mobile machinery, and in modular machines. In general, you can 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 CiA call for experts to address the necessary functionalities. This includes the standardization 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.

As one of the basic ideas that came out of this meeting, is to be able to link variables in different engineering systems via a top level architecture in a very easy way. For this the concept of a proxy function block was presented and discussed. Via PLCopen XML one can 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.

The next meeting will be held at the CiA headquarters in Nuremberg on May 8 from 10:00 – 16:00 (approx..). Contact Wendelien Wesselink via an email to [email protected] if you want to participate in this meeting.

PLCopen was founded in 1992 as an independent worldwide association for industrial suppliers and users. It is the leading association resolving topics related to industrial control programming. PLCopen creates concepts to reduce the costs of industrial automation. These cost savings are realized in areas such as engineering, training, operation and maintenance. Together with its members, PLCopen creates specifications to materialize these concepts.

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