Real interoperability? PLCopen revives TC6 - XML for better translation

PLCopen Technical Committee (TC6) - XML opened up the IEC 61131-3 programming language development environments by specifying the XML schema, which provides an open interface to other software tools; feedback on the effort is moving the unified digital factory closer to reality, say those involved. Who's involved?


Gorinchem, The Netherlands

PLCopen Technical Committee (TC6) - XML

has opened up the IEC 61131-3 programming language development environments by specifying the XML schema, which provides an open interface to other software tools; XML schema and documentation was published in June 2005 as version 1.01. Feedback has come in from companies starting to implement the specification from Europe and Japan, a step closer to a more unified digital factory.


creates concepts to reduce the costs of industrial automation; savings are realized in areas such as engineering, training, operation and maintenance. With its members, PLCopen creates specifications to materialize the concepts. A new phase began with the initiative AutomationML . Daimler, ABB, Kuka, Rockwell, Siemens, netAllied, and Zühlke, together with the University of Karlsruhe and the University of Magdeburg, jointly define and standardize the Automation Markup Language (AutomationML) as an intermediate digital factory format.
One of the formats accepted in the group is PLCopen XML for sequencing. To optimize the interface, additional changes to the specification are proposed. Members of PLCopen, which was founded in 1992 as an independent worldwide association for industrial suppliers and users, will meet again on May 6 at Mercedes Benz in Sindelfingen to support the new activity for TC6. The goal is to update the existing specification, including accepted changes and proposals.

PLCopen has a North American branch

Control Engineering provides prior coverage on TC6 .

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