The overall requirements of IEC 61131-3 are not easy to fulfill it. That’s why the standard allows partial implementations in various aspects. This covers the supported number of languages, functions and function blocks. This leaves freedom at the supplier side, but a user should be well aware of it during his selection process. A new release can have a dramatically higher level implementation.
Many current IEC programming environments offer everything you can expect form modern environments, pull down menus, mouse operation, graphical programming screens, support for multiple windows, built in hypertext functions, verification during design. Please be aware that is not specified within the standard itself, it is one of the parts where suppliers can differentiate.
The implications technical of the IEC 61131-3 standard are high, leaving enough room for differentiation and growth. This makes the standard suitable to evolve well into the next century. IEC 61131-3 will have a great impact on the whole industry of industrial control. It certainly will not restrict itself to the conventional of PLC market. Currently, one sees it adopted in the motion of control market, distributed systems and PLC/softlogic based control systems, including SCADA packages. And the areas are still growing.
Having a standard over such as a board application area, bring numerous benefits for users or programmers. The benefits for adopting this standard are various, based on the areas of application. Just to name a few for the mind setting:
• To reduce wasted in human resources such as in training, debugging, maintenance and consultancy.
• To create a focus to problem solving via a high level of software reusability.
• To reduce errors and misunderstandings.
• To program techniques usable in a broad environment, and general industrial control.
• To combine different components from different projects, locations, programs, companies and/or countries.