Control Software Evolves

It's All About Having an Integrated Platform and Providing New Features to Keep Up With New Hardware Functions

By Control Design Staff

Or is it the other way around? Is hardware having to evolve to keep up with the power of the software platforms? It doesn't really matter. What matters is that the resulting functionality grows more powerful, flexible and easier to use.

SEE ALSO: RoundUp: Simple Control Software Is Best

"As computers evolve in industrial settings, they now use more modern chipsets with 64-bit architectures, multi-touch drivers and newer bus standards," says Eric Reichert, product marketing specialist, Industrial PCs and HMI, at Phoenix Contact. "This transition allows the components to use newer features and technology that can be incorporated into the software. Due to this increased demand and the underlying trend that corporations are bringing their internal and automation networks closer, it can be expected that security, transparency and accessibility will be the trends of upcoming software."

A subset of these needs is a recognition that protecting an engineer's previous investments in tools and existing designs is critical, given the pressure to deliver on a shorter time to market at low cost. "Our approach enables a unified, platform-based approach, which ensures new and existing designs can leverage updated technology with minimal effort," says David Fuller, vice president of applications and embedded software at National Instruments. "Notably, LabVIEW now supports the new NI Linux real-time OS, which provides developers access to a rich set of community-sourced libraries and applications. This support combined with new C/C++ development options and expanded connectivity choices, including industry-standard browser-based file management, makes it possible to provide a substantial increase in productivity."


Flowchart Control
DASYLab software helps solve complex data acquisition and control scenarios via a flowchart directly on the screen. PID control and binary logic control can be defined using the module icons. Pulse generators can be used for exact, time-dependent control with complex control signals.
Omega Engineering
(888) 55-omega

cd1311 aero

Follow the Right Path
Generate G-code motion programs directly from CAD drawings by importing vector-based drawing files into CADFusion to see the resulting tool path graphically. Automatic and manual shape reordering options allow for optimal tool and processing paths. The software allows user-defined initialization, process shutdown and shuttering commands (laser on/off).
(412) 967-6854

CD1311 opto

PAC Project software suite shares a single tag-name database to integrate PAC Control flowchart-based programming software, PAC Display HMI application and additional automation software. PAC Project Basic includes control and HMI software, and is free of charge. PAC Project Professional adds OPC communication, database connectivity, advanced network options, support for legacy Opto 22 hardware and software, and a software-based PAC for PC-based control.
Opto 22
(800) 321-6786

CD1311 beckhoff

Extend Your Automation
PC-based control software TwinCAT 3.1 includes eXtended Automation that involves the convergence of automation with the domain of IT and computer science. Version 3.1 supports 64-bit operating systems and Windows 8. It also supports IEC 61131-3 programming languages, object-oriented programming (OOP), C/C++ and Matlab/Simulink. By using CPU Isolation, the software can reserve the full performance of the individual CPU cores of a multi-core processor exclusively for TwinCAT.
Beckhoff Automation
(952) 890-0000

CD1311 ad

More Support
Do-more PLC supports Ethernet I/O directly from the Ethernet port on the CPU. Connected racks and drives are auto-discovered, and all connected Ethernet I/O points use native addressing. Users can independently adjust the poll rate for each I/O rack (slave). Ethernet slaves can be configured as "critical" I/O, so the CPU will drop out of run mode if that I/O rack or GS drive disconnects for some reason. Diagnostic functions are included.
(800) 633-0405

CD1311 phoenix

Deploy Control
Portico software lets users deploy a network portal for remote visualization, interaction and control of other computers on the factory floor. Using Ethernet and remote frame buffering (RFB), it extends the transmission of video signals beyond the limits of VGA or DVI, and does it without the need for repeater hardware and cables. Its control arbitration mechanism ensures that only oner client has control of the server computer at any given time.
Phoenix Contact
(800) 322-3225

CD1311 NI

More Hardware Support
LabView 2013 includes native support for the newest hardware from vendors such as ARM and Xilinx, as well as a suite of code management, documentation and review tools. New tools integrate with a software engineering process, including a new Subversion plug-in from Viewpoint Systems and a new tool from Wirebird Labs. It enables users to deliver systems on the latest mobile platforms for iOS and Android for dashboards for remote monitoring and system control.
National Instruments
(800) 453-6202

cd1311 codesys

Service Updates
With Service Pack for CoDeSys v.3.5, users make better use of screen space by automatically hiding windows that aren't required. Dialogs are simplified, drag-and-drop support is extended, online displays standardized and the program displays in graphic editors are more intuitive. Motion and CNC characteristics of the system have been extended by new transformations, as well as drivers for CAN and EtherCAT drives.
3S-Smart Software Solutions


Big for MACs
Sysmac Studio software integrates configuration, programming, simulation and monitoring to set up, program, debug and maintain NJ-Series machine automation controllers (MACs) and EtherCAT slaves. Machine and motion programming is based on IEC 61131-3 and PLCopen function blocks for motion control. It offers a 3D simulation environment to develop and test off-line motion profiles.
Omron Automation & Safety
(866) 88-omron

cd1311 abb

Build It
Automation Builder provides an integrated development environment for control and motion systems based on PLCs, safety PLCs, robotics, motion control and related automation components. This reduces software complexity by combining all of the tools required for configuring, programming, debugging and maintaining automation projects from a common intuitive interface. It includes RobotStudio tool for simulating and programming industrial robot applications, Mint WorkBench tool and pre-built and tested libraries for controlling drives and other devices connected via fieldbuses, networks or the web.
(262) 780-3000

CD1311 rockwell

Collaboration Studio
Studio 5000 unified engineering and design environment provides a framework for engineering collaboration that allows engineers to enter configuration and programming information once and leverage it across their control system architecture from design to operation to maintenance. It includes the Logix Designer application for programming and configuration of ControlLogix 5570 and CompactLogix 5370 programmable automation controllers.
Rockwell Automation
(414) 382-2000

CD1311 GE

Universal Development
Proficy Machine Edition is a universal development environment for HMI, motion and control applications which share a workspace, toolset and standardized user interface. It includes the ability to import and export control logic in XML, maintain control strategies in standardized XML format and selectively import logic blocks to create a complete automation project. Users can choose to design their system using a third-party development tool and import the generated XML logic into Machine Edition.
GE Intelligent Platforms
(800) 433-2682

CD1311 bandr

Good to Share
Automation Studio 4 has true-to-life architecture modeling, version control, support for shared projects via modularization and simple object-oriented programming. It comes with an interface to Eplan Electric P8, which allows ECAD projects and the hardware configuration to be synchronized. A smart editor uses function libraries and sections of code that have already been programmed.
B&R Industrial Automation
(770) 772-0400

cd1311 galil

New Tools
GalilSuite Revision 1.0 software for configuring, analyzing and tuning the company's motion control systems replaces prior-generation GalilTools and WSDK for configuring, analyzing and tuning Galil motion and I/O controllers. The package provides eight tools. Tuner Tool has four methods for tuning with a graphical view of multiple tuning responses.
Galil Motion Control
(800) 377-6329


CoDeSys for Wago's PLCs streamlines GUI creation and application programming via integrated IEC 61131-3 object-orientated programming. Visualization lets users select basic elements and pre-drawn shapes to create industrial objects. It also allows object-variable manipulation within code.
(800) din-rail


The Plot Optimizes
The Plot Manager feature of RMCTools software streamlines tuning and optimizing of motion control loops by displaying graphs of target and actual values of motion axis position, velocity, acceleration, pressure, force and other parameters over time. It works with Delta's RMC70 one- and two-axis motion controllers and RMC150 multi-axis motion controllers. For traceability, reporting and comparison needs, plots can be saved or exported in different file types.
Delta Computer Systems
(360) 254-8688

CD1311 ISA

Sends Backup
IsaGraf 6.1 IEC 61131-3 and IEC 61499-compliant firmware and workbench offers plug-ins, including LD, FBD, ST, SFC and IEC 61499 editors, integrated HMI, binding editor, I/O wiring tool, and a spy list. It includes Version Source Control, which provides a means for multiple users to work on the same elements. It also has Failover, which is a backup operational mode in which control system functions are assumed by a secondary control system when the primary system becomes unavailable.
(450) 445-3353

cd1311 trio

Make it Perfect
Motion Perfect v3 (MPv3) application development, configuration and connectivity software for company's multi-axis motion and machine controllers has single-point programming support for its Uniplay 7-in. and 10-in. operator interfaces, an updated Project Encryptor for code and intellectual property security, and a plug-and-play configuration utility. MPv3 makes full use of Microsoft .NET and WPF to include intuitive tree views for project and controller information, tabbed layouts for programming and file management, and it supports both TrioBASIC and IEC 61131-3 programming.
Trio Motion Technology
44 (0)1684 292333

cd1311 idec One for All 

Automation Organizer (AO) software suite combines the latest versions of WindLDR PLC and WindO/I-NV2 OI software with WindCFG system configuration software. Users can create a common tag name database for IDEC PLCs and OI touchscreens.
(800) 262-idec

  Enhanced Support
SoftPLC embedded control firmware includes support for DHCP (dynamic Ethernet addressing) and SLC-500 commands in the DF1 and A-B Ethernet drivers, in addition to PLC-5 commands, enabling more HMIs to communicate to a SoftPLC-based controller. Open architecture software supports a variety of network and I/O protocols, and a C++ toolkit allows customers to add extensions such as logic instructions, drivers and more.
(800) softplc