Monday, February 28, 2011

Automatic Generation of Flowcharts

Having access to a synthetic and precise documentation is thus key to the efficiency of all contributors during the whole PLC programs lifecycle. However, manually writing is tire some and error prone. The need for a consistent format perfectly and the tediousness of the task argue for an automated tool- based approach; that’s exactly what PLC DocGen offers.

PLC DocGen generates automatically a dataflow oriented view of a PLC program (from inputs towards outputs) represented by equations and flowcharts, thus abstracting the actual sequential execution of the program. This view is a perfect intermediate formalism between the code and specifications itself.

This view is independent from the type of PLC hardware and the programming style on which the program runs, it is ensuring a consistent formatting for all documents. PLC DocGen may use a parameter any kind of documentation template such as symbols, title blocks, and then apply it to all documents it generates. It is based on approach of a sound technological valid for any PLC in the market, making it the perfect companion to any reverse engineering activity is it for new developments based on maintenance and modernization or for legacy code.

Flowchart generation is offered by Itris Automation Square as a service that follows a clear and rigorous methodology:
• The programs gathering to be documented and transfer of all files to Itris Automation Square.
• The documentation template Definition through the actual documentation generation for one of the supplied programs. The template will consist models of front pages, title blocks, pictograms, tables of content, symbols, blue- print backgrounds, numbering… The template is then formally approved.
• The documentation of actual automatic generation of with PLC DocGen according to a schedule that takes into ac count the priorities of the project.
• Documentation validation through peer proofreading.
• Formal delivery of the documents in PDF and SVG formats applying the template defined before. The documentation may be easily maintained and modified subsequently to the flexibility of the SVG format.

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