Pack Expo 2007: Yaskawa expands support for industry standards

Las Vegas, NV—Yaskawa Electric America released MotionWorks IEC Mechatronic Control System, compatible with the IEC 61131-3 and PLCopen control programming standards. International standards are important for OEM customers, says Yaskawa. Standards improve communication compatibility for system integrators working in multi-vendor environments and make complex control systems more accessible for maintenance technicians who have to keep them running and operators who have to use them.
By Control Engineering Staff October 18, 2007

Las Vegas, NV

Yaskawa Electric America

IEC 61131-3

and

PLCopen

control programming standards. “International standards are extremely important for our OEM customers,” said John Payne, vice president for research and development at Yaskawa. He pointed out that use of standards improves communication compatibility for system integrators working in multi-vendor environments and makes complex control systems more accessible for maintenance technicians who have to keep them running and operators who have to use them.

“Customers drive the move toward standards,” Payne continued. “We vendors would like to talk about all our wonderful solutions.” Customers, however, need the best in class for each component, and only industry-wide standards can assure that they can get them.

In the absence of such standards, OEM customers must choose between equally unpleasant alternatives.

Recognizing that no one company can provide the best solutions for all elements, they can choose one vendor who provides best-in-class solutions for one or some control-system elements. That vendor’s solutions will work together, but may not provide the best possible overall solution. Perhaps that vendor provides the best motor and drive combinations for > 50 hp. The user interface might, for example, be clumsy. In such a case, the customer is left with either shoring up the poor performance of the compatible off-the-shelf components, or accepting sub-optimal system performance.

An alternative is to insist on best-in-class solutions for all system elements. In that case, users have to cobble together patches or work-arounds to pass control information among incompatible elements. Again, they are forced to do a lot of unnecessary work.

“We have invested R&D resources in supporting with the IEC 61131-3 and PLCopen control programming standards because we recognize that OEM customers will ultimately favor vendors who do so,” Payne says.

Other Control Engineering Pack Expo coverage is available .

Also see the new blog on Control Engineering ‘s site:
Standard profits: Pack ISA-88 Part 5.

Available in the Control Engineering podcast library :
Trends in Motion Control and Robotics: John Payne, vice president of the motion division and research and development

C.G. Masi, senior editor
Control Engineering
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