PLCopen is dedicated to standards that improve the efficiency and quality of control and automation application development and lower life cycle costs including maintenance, troubleshooting, adding new functions, upgrades, and coping with new governmental rules.
PLCopen, as an organization active in Industrial Control, is creating standards to improve efficiency in your application software development and lowering your life-cycle costs. As such it is based on standard available tools to which extensions are and will be defined. With results like Motion Control Library, Safety, XML specification, Reusability Level and Conformity Level, PLCopen made solid contributions to the community, extending the hardware independence from the software code, as well as reusability of the code and coupling to external software tools.
PLCopen is a vendor- and product-independent worldwide association. Its mission is to be the leading association resolving topics related to control programming to support the use of international standards in this field. For this PLCopen has several technical and promotional committees.
PLCopen was founded in 1992 and has headquarters in The Netherlands with supporting offices in the USA, Japan, and China. PLCopen is supported by membership fees by high quality organizations dedicated to the control and automation industry including suppliers, users, system integrators, and educational institutes.
One of the core activities of PLCopen is focused around IEC 61131-3, the only global standard for industrial control programming. It harmonizes the way people design and operate industrial controls by standardizing the programming interface. A standard programming interface allows people with different backgrounds and skills to create different elements of a program during different stages of the software lifecycle: specification, design, implementation, testing, installation and maintenance. Yet all pieces adhere to a common structure and work together harmoniously. The standard includes the definition of the Sequential Function Chart (SFC) language, used to structure the internal organization of a program, and four inter-operable programming languages: Instruction List (IL), Ladder Diagram (LD), Function Block Diagram (FBD) and Structured Text (ST). Via decomposition into logical elements, modularization and modern software techniques, each program is structured, increasing its re-usability, reducing errors and increasing programming and user efficiency.