TwinCAT Quick Start

Overview

Overview 1:

What is TwinCAT PLC Control?

TwinCAT PLC Control is a complete development environment for your PLC. Use of the editors and debugging functions is based upon the proven development program environments of advanced programming languages.

IEC 61131-3

TwinCAT PLC allows the PLC programmer to obtain easy access to the powerful language resources of IEC 61131-3. The following features were implemented during the course of TwinCAT PLC development:

Function blocks

TwinCAT PLC supports different programming languages: instruction list (IL), structured text (ST), sequential function chart (SFC), function block diagram (FBD) continuous function chart editor (CFC) and ladder diagram (LD).

Test without PLC

The integrated software PLC allows you to test the PLC program without external hardware.

Changes during operation

Programs are modified "online" in the PLC.

Reusability

Reuseability of existing PLC program blocks

Standardized interfaces

A link to other programs and computers, even through a network, is possible thanks to standardized open interfaces (OCX, DLL, etc).

Heterogeneous environment

Thanks to the use of system-independent and widespread network protocols, it is possible to integrate TwinCAT into a heterogeneous network environment. For example, an Oracle database running under UNIX can exchange data with TwinCAT via TCP/IP and can process this data further in a PDA or PPS system or can specify parameters within TwinCAT PLC in order to influence the production process.

High-level language libraries

Complex algorithms can be developed in C/C++ or Assembler, for example, in order to address them from TwinCAT PLC. There are many third-party vendors of such libraries who deal with specific task areas.

SCADA systems

Some manufacturers of SCADA systems (Fix32, InTouch, Citect, Genesis, Wizcon, etc) offer direct driver support for linking to TwinCAT

Remote access

Central programming of distributed control systems through a network (including ISDN) is possible thanks to the fact that the programming and run time environments are separate.

Intuitive development environment

Simulation according to the example of technically matured high-level language development environments (e.g. visual C++), breakpoints, single step mode and tracing of variables etc. are possible using TwinCAT PLC, as is the case with modern development environments.