PLCopen Fluid Power Task Force Kick-off Meeting |

PLCopen Fluid Power Task Force Kick-off Meeting

PLCopen Fluid Power Task Force Kick-off Meeting
June 23, 2009 in Frankfurt Germany the PLCopen Fluid Power Task Force had its first technical meeting to define function blocks for fluid power and hydraulic applications. Founding members of the task group include Bosch Rexroth, Eaton and Parker Hannifin bringing broad fluid power and controls experience; B&R, Eckelmann, ISG, Siemens representing control and integration expertise; 3S CoDeSys with a commitment of tightly integrated control software tools.

The integration of control technology with fluid power is delivering more value to users and PLCopen standards for these applications will simplify application engineering, and increase quality. The standardization will allow cross pollination from electrical and fluid power experts.

Until recently, the motion function blocks defined by PLCopen have been largely based on electromechanical motion including steppers, servomotors and VFDs (Variable Frequency Drives). However, with the evolution of integrated mechatronic platforms, particularly in the mobile market the industry needs motion function block definitions that address motion control function unique to fluid power applications. The Fluid Power Motion Control Task Force was established by PLCopen to address this need. At its kickoff meeting in Frankfort, Germany the task force elected to evaluate all current PLCopen motion function blocks and identify those needing extensions to better encapsulate broad motion constructs that include motion controlled by fluid power. In addition, the task force will identify any new function blocks that might be unique to fluid power-based motion.

Several of the controls manufacturers present at the kickoff meeting noted that their customers have become accustom to the ease with which electromechanical motion control is realized when applying the PLCopen motion function blocks and are now seeking that same consistency and simplicity when designing systems with pure or hybrid application of fluid power motion. It is clear that the implementation of the IEC 61131-3 programming standard is having an impact on the way in which automated machines and processes are being designed, integrated, operated and maintained. It is also clear that this demand for normalization of machine and process control will become more prevalent as all platforms undergo increasing mechatronic evolution. Tomorrow’s systems will benefit from tight, vertical and horizontal integration of mechanical, electrical and informatics technology only to the extent that these technologies are applied in a unified manner such as that offered by the PLCopen Logic-Motion-Safety standards.

The IEC 61131-3 programming standard for automation has fundamentally improved the approach to logical control. With the standardization of 5 programming languages and a move toward object oriented program development, benefits are being realized at all stages of the automation life cycle from design to maintenance.

PLCopen is the global organization responsible for promotion and implementation of the IEC 61131-3 standard. PLCopen has extended the utility and versatility of the IEC standard by introducing the concept of Logic-Motion-Safety (LMS) which takes a holistic view of automated machines and processes.

The task force is holding monthly online meetings and is scheduled to release its recommendations on June 30, 2010.
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