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Machine builders appeal for standardised motion software

01 June, 2003

A group of packaging machine builders is calling on OEMs and users of servo control systems to support efforts to standardise motion control software and to put pressure on their suppliers to adopt standardised, "re-usable" software. The machine builders say that this would cut engineering times and costs, especially in Europe where they often have to support several different software and hardware control platforms to serve their customers.

The group, which includes Klöckner Tevopharm, TetraPak and IWKA Pacunion, has issued a joint statement under the auspices of PLCopen, the organisation which promotes the standardisation of control systems. Last year, a PLCopen task force published the first results of a project to standardise motion control software and it is currently developing extensions to this work.

An essential aspect of the "open" approach to motion control software is that the code should be re-usable, with applications being independent of the hardware on which they run. Different implementations of the library have to be consistent, with no supplier-specific extensions to the function blocks.

In their statement, the packaging machine builders say that standardised, re-usable software capable of running on different platforms is needed to reduce logic and motion-control engineering costs, now and in the future. They identify three key elements to achieving this goal:

• development environments should comply with IEC 61131-3;

• PLCopen`s Motion Control Library initiative should be supported actively; and

• pressure should be applied to suppliers to persuade them to implement the standardised library and its future extensions, in "a clear and transparent way".

The full statement can be found on the PLCopen Web ste.




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