PLCopen releases Coding Guidelines for industrial control programming

  • April 21, 2016
  • News

April 21, 2016 - The PLCopen Coding Guidelines version 1.0 as part of the Software Construction Guidelines initiative have been released and are available on our website for downloading.

Although there are guidelines for many programming languages, these are nearly non-existent for the important area of industrial control, e.g. IEC 61131-3 and its PLCopen extensions. In order to deal with the complexity of larger programs one needs modern software development processes supporting a structured approach and creating re-usable code. Also, we need to increase the efficiency in coding via re-use of pre-defined functionalities and to help to better understand the program over the life cycle.

PLCopen supports this goal via their initiative Software Construction Guidelines..

Now the first official version of the Coding Guidelines is released, containing 63 rules for software programming, spread over different sections like: Naming Rules, Comment Rules, Coding Practice,  Languages, and even Vendor Specific IEC 61131-3 Extensions.

These rules are very useful to train users and can be a good basis for universities to help them teach IEC 61131-3 programming more efficiently, as well as to define company-internal guidelines.

Since the release of the first documents, further work was done on the following topics:

  • Creating PLCopen compliant Function Block Libraries
  • Structuring and decomposition via SFC (do’s & don’ts)

Both areas are close to publishing their first results. The libraries are giving guidance and examples to create own libraries. For this templates are provided for the two basic Function Blocks operation differences: edge-triggered or level-triggered. This basis is extended with time-out functionality and a timer to spread an operation over multiple operating cycles. The included examples shows also the basic code, also in the object oriented approach as provided b the 3rd edition of the IEC 61131-3 standard.

Additional working groups active under the Software Construction Guidelines will focus on the following topics:

  • Guidance for documentation in software programs
  • Software quality issues and software consistency
  • Software development process
  • Object orientation in the 3rd edition

The results of the different subgroups will be made available on the PLCopen website on an on-going basis.

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