View All Programming

Programming October 31, 2023

How automation, programming standards help upgrades, integration

Automation integration and programming has become easier for controls, motion and networking as result of efforts from OPC Foundation and PLCopen, as explained at Pack Expo Las Vegas 2023.

By Mark T. Hoske
Programming July 18, 2023

PLC programming language fundamentals for improved operations, maintenance

Programmable logic controller (PLC) programming languages help keep manufacturing operations running smoothly. Learn about the five types of PLC programming languages and how they’re used.

By Frank Lamb
Programming July 4, 2023

Are you making the most of PLC programming standards from PLCopen?

IEC 61131-3 offers users a reliable framework to develop efficient solutions at all phases of their automation process, and is used to support PLCopen libraries.

By Dulce Maria Varela
Programming July 3, 2023

Building a solid foundation with PLCopen, IEC 61131-3

PLCopen helps increase efficiency, reusability and portability and gives programmers flexibility when working with IEC 61131-3 and IEC 61131-10.

By Eelco van der Wal
Programming June 1, 2023

Control Engineering hot topics, May 2023

Control Engineering’s most clicked articles in May 2023 included stories on the 2023 career and salary survey, PLC ladder logic, Automate 2023 and more. Miss something? You can catch up here.

By David Miller
Programming April 24, 2023

How to simplify PLC, control device management with Git version control, auto-backup

Webcast on PLC and control device programming explains Git version control and automated-backup capabilities help simplifying programmable logic controller (PLC) and control device management. Benefits include reduction in onboarding costs and better code.

By Matt Lee and Vaughn Varma
Programming March 27, 2023

Using Git workflows to improve efficiency, reduce bottlenecks

A control system integrator used Git-based software to improve automation as well as increase onboarding of new hires and scaling quality.

By Darren Henry and Vaughn Varma
Programming January 27, 2023

Improving PLC version control, device backup using modern Git workflows

Git-based source control can help programmable logic controller (PLC) programmers improve efficiency and reduce downtime. Feb. 7 webcast, archived for a year, offers tips and other information.

By Chris Vavra
Programming January 7, 2023

Analysis: Ability to delay Microsoft DCOM hardening patch ends as of March 2023

The mandatory Microsoft DCOM hardening patch, “one of the best changes Microsoft has made for DCOM,” effects only a small percentage, but still a large number of applications. There’s no postponing the patch as of March. Be aware of the impact and related misinformation.

By Randy Kondor
Programming December 4, 2022

Simplifying, automating sortation system for recycling company

A recycling company hired a system integrator to automate a proprietary sortation system invented to aid recycling company customers with Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) documentation.

By Nathan Ferrin
Programming November 10, 2022

Using a six-point plan for creating low-code digital thread

Digital threads can help in a manufacturer’s digital transformation, but it doesn’t have to be a complex process. A six-step plan for developing a low-code digital thread is highlighted.

By Rob McAveney
Programming November 9, 2022

SCARA robot technology benefits

Selective compliance articulated robot arm (SCARA) robots are capable of many types of movement.

By Matt Pelletier
Programming October 26, 2022

PLC programming dos and don’ts to consider

Programmable logic controller (PLC) programming is often done to resolve an immediate problem, but this can lead to long-term issues, particularly if the original programmer isn't around.

By Jon Breen
Programming September 29, 2022

Tips on how to choose industrial controller hardware, software

Choose the right programmable logic controller (PLC) hardware and software and consider ways to make PLC programming more efficient. Get advice below, from the PLC hardware and software webcast, archived for a year after Sept. 29.

By Jon Breen, Frank Lamb and Eelco van der Waal
Programming August 30, 2022

How to improve PLC programming with Git workflows

Answer these questions to add speed, quality, and lower costs related to developing code for programmable logic controllers (PLCs). Many industrial automation workflows and software for PLCs haven’t kept pace with traditional software development.

By Darren Henry and Vaughn Varma
Programming August 13, 2022

Understanding the wiring and programming of a labeler application

Tutorial: Labeling machines are commonly used as part of the packaging process and must be precise. The setup process for wiring and programming can be complex; here’s how make it simpler.

By Sixto Moralez and Matt Hardenbergh
Programming July 7, 2022

PLC programming: What you need to know

While the programmable logic controller (PLC) is very important, the programming inside the controller is just as critical and can be overlooked.

By Matt Fether
Programming May 16, 2022

7 tips every PLC programmer should know

A good programmable logic controller (PLC) programmer should keep the end user in mind when writing code and implement it that is best for the situation.

By Alex Kennedy
Programming May 14, 2022

Demystify the newly-released open automation platform

How open is your automation? Openness for industrial automation varies. Review history of open in automation and how IEC 61499 standard for distributed control system can help.

By Stone Shi
Programming January 31, 2022

Quantum computing language developed

Twist is an MIT-developed programming language that can describe and verify which pieces of data are entangled to prevent bugs in a quantum program.

By Rachel Gordon
Programming December 14, 2021

Know the benefits of no-code robotics

No code programming seeks to make the automation industry more autonomous and to democratize the use of robotics at the shop floor level.

By Claudia Jarrett
Programming November 24, 2021

PLC object orientation guidelines published

PLCopen started an object-oriented programming (OOP) guidelines initiative in order to create a more homogeneous method.

By PLCopen
Programming October 4, 2021

Finite-state machine for embedded systems

Get help for finite-state machine programming for embedded systems using C programming language.

By Peter Galan
Programming October 3, 2021

Using abstraction to reduce the machine integration efforts

Integrating a packaging machine can be a time-consuming process, but creating a higher abstraction level can help with specific functionalities and speed up the overall PLC and motion programming process. IEC 61131-3 standard and PLCopen Motion Control Function Blocks help.

By Eelco van der Wal
Programming September 25, 2021

Know your PLC programming audience

Programmable logic controller (PLC) code should never be a bottleneck when troubleshooting and should be designed to address the needs and knowledge of as many engineers as possible.

By Mike Blenman
Programming July 7, 2021

Programming standardization unifies, improves operator experience

Integrated automation suites provide control system programmers with the tools to manage standardization across multiple automation projects, creating consistent operational experiences enterprise-wide. See 10 advantages of an integrated programming suite that saved 30% programming time at one customer.

By John DeTellem
Programming July 6, 2021

Structuring with IEC 61131-3: 7 steps to success

The IEC 61131-3 standard includes powerful structuring tools and can help provide users an excellent way to break a control system down into manageable units for greater overall effectiveness.

By Eelco van der Wal
Programming June 14, 2021

Keeping robot programming simple

As companies look to diversify to help improve sustainability, robot programming that is simple enough to be refigured to any kind of manufacturing environment is critical.

By Nigel Smith
Programming April 23, 2021

Deep-learning models code more like humans

MIT researchers propose a method for finding and fixing weaknesses in automated programming tools and computer code the way humans do.

By Kim Martineau
Programming February 1, 2021

PLC users can use cloud services without programming

Original equipment manufacturers (OEMs), machine builders and others can access a no-code Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) cloud platform, providing easy-to-use data analysis tools, other functionality for bottom-line improvements

By Mark T. Hoske
Programming January 26, 2021

Free PLC programming software for education

Available programmable logic controller (PLC) software that is free for users is crucial for users and students who can't currently access a lab. See table with a breakdown.

By Jon Breen

A letter from the editor

At Control Engineering we strive to connect the global industrial engineering audience through online and print media and in-person events. Control Engineering covers and educates about automation, control and instrumentation technologies in a regionally focused, actionable manner. Established in 1954, Control Engineering provides information for automation engineers to do their jobs better. We want to connect engineers who design, implement, integrate, maintain and manage control, automation and instrumentation systems, components and equipment. This active and engaged audience regularly accesses free premium content from Control Engineering due to comprehensive coverage of automation technologies and applications.

Mark Hoske - Control Engineering