PLCopen is a product independent and vendor worldwide association supporting IEC 61131-3. By implementing the standard on many program development environments, user can move between different types and brands of control with very little training and exchange applications with a minimum effort.
The organization of PLCopen works on the promotion of the usage and/or supply of the standard as well as to enhance the standard in a technical sense. This latter includes exchange and certification. The members of the PLCopen can participate in the committees, and as such have upfront information, a stronger identity, as well as influence on the results. They can use the defined PLCopen logo’s for their promotion. The committees working within PLCopen and results are described in short form hereunder.
The technical committees (TCs) with PLCopen representative’s members work on specific items.
TC1 – Standards, PLCopen collects proposal from its member for the IEC 65B WG7 working group, develops a joint position and distributes related information. This was specifically focused to the second standard edition which was released at the beginning of 2001.
TC2 – Functions defines Function Blocks common libraries for specific application areas. For instance is the library definition of Function Blocks for Motion Control. This standardization of couple’s motion control in a logical way to industrial control. It provides a common look and feel towards the users, programmers as well as maintenance and installation people. Scaling of the control system is much easier with multiple implementations of this library, even if there are different architectures and/or controller brands used.
TC3 - Certification and Conformity testing defines a certification system for Program Support Environments (PSEs). Each PSe can be tested to show that it complies with a PLCopen specified subset of the standard of IEC 61131-3. This standard consists a large number of so called feature tables and PLCopen has defined which elements of these tables must be supported to fulfill compliancy requirements.