PLCnext Technology

Enhance your automation thinking

Node-REDNode-RED is installed as a function extension on the Linux operating system of your PLCnext Contol whereby the flows are executed outside the real-time environment. More about node-red OPC UAYour PLCnext Control has an embedded OPC UA server and focuses on a deep integration of the OPC UA specification and mechanisms to get you well ahead for the next industrial revolution. More About OPC UA PythonPython has become one of the most popular programming languages and offers ready-to-use solutions for almost every problem in IIoT business. Therefore, your PLCnext Control already offers an integrated Python 3 interpreter. More About Python DockerYour PLCnext Control is Docker ready - it combines the reliability of a control system with the possibilities of modern software distribution. More About Docker 

Ecosystem for limitless automation

As innovation cycles shorten, automation systems must be able to be adapted ever more quickly in the future. For many companies this means a change in thinking, changes in processes and other approaches. For example, know-how will have to be purchased more often in the future and many further developments and innovations will be created primarily by communities and the creativity of many idea providers. Flexibility and efficiency will become the most urgent requirement for us all. That means, reuse what has already been developed and proven, and maximum openness. Openness in thinking and openness of systems.

 

Why using PLCnext Control

PLCnext Technology is a new ecosystem that expands the use of a PLC in ways that will change the future of automation. This state-of-the-art digital ecosystem offers an open Linux environment for edge computing with access to more data via IoT systems and more flexibility with open source code. PLCnext Technology presents a new development environment offering HTML5 visualization and seamless integration of high-level languages. Configure your PLCnext Control as a Profinet controller and integrate manufacturer-independent Profinet devices into your application.

 

You need to know more? Here are four more reasons why it has never been easier for you to use a PLCnext Control:

 

Node-RED

Node-RED is a visual programming tool, based on the node.js JavaScript runtime environment. It seamlessly interacts with the other programs running on the PLCnxt control, e.g. the classic IEC61131 program. There are different nodes available, which can be used like function blocks in IEC programming. A combination of different nodes is called a flow which corresponds to a program in the IEC world. The flows are executed outside the real-time environment of the PLCnext Control. The communication between Node-RED and the PLCnext programs can be easily achieved e.g. via OPC UA or the REST API.  Node-RED is installed as a function extension on the Linux operating system. The programming is done in a web-based editor. Node-RED is open source and supported by a large global community of programmers.

 

The recommended way to install node.js is through the PLCnext Store. Here is a full guide on how to proceed PLCnext Community

 

OPC UA

PLCnext Technology focuses on a deep integration of the OPC UA specification and mechanisms and is already well prepared for the future of the next industrial revolution with its embedded OPC UA server. The integrated OPC UA Server (eUA Server) supports the user from the commissioning phase to the productive operation in the plant. In addition to the features for data access via DataAccess and subscriptions, additional OPC UA facets are supported, such as automatic certificate exchange according to the OPC UA GDS standard, file access to the Linux file system, access to historical data and support of alarms from both the IEC 61131-3 and C++ context. OPC UA (Open Platform Communication Unified Architecture) is, among other things, the basis for an ever stronger, manufacturer-independent and secure networking of the individual components and machines of a modern factory.

Learn more about how OPC UA can be helpful to you and get started with some easy applications.

 

In the Makers Blog, you’ll also find more articles that will help you getting started with your PLCnext Control and Node-RED like, e.g. installing Node.js on a RFC 4072S or using Node-RED as an OPC UA client.

 

Python

Python is a powerful language with plenty of applications for Industrie 4.0, including Machine Learning and Cloud connectivity, so it’s a natural fit for applications that use PLCnext Technology. Therefore, PLCnext Control already offers an integrated Python3 interpreter and, hence, is optimally equipped for your applications. Python has become one of the most popular programming languages and offers ready-to-use solutions for almost every problem thanks to the enormous community support.

This tutorial will help you install Python and PIP on a PLCnext Control.

 

Docker Support

Starting with firmware version 2020.0, PLCnext Control AXC F 2152 is now docker ready. That means it’s even easier to create, deploy, and run your PLCnext Technology applications.

For many years, the use of OCI containers (such as Docker or balena) has revolutionized the IT landscape. They allow for an easier and quicker management of existing or custom features and their integration into a continuous automated development process. Thus, PLCnext Technology combines the reliability of a control system with the possibilities of modern software distribution. Create your own microservices, use existing applications and manage your container fleet on PLCnext Control!

Learn more about the application and discuss with our specialists in the Community Forum.

Read this Makers Blog entry which demonstrates how an OCI container can be used to easily turn a PLCnext Control into an AWS IoT Greengrass device.

Edge in PLCnext Technology

In order to optimize automation processes, production plant operators and responsible persons need data from their production plants. Often it is looked upon Edge Computing for this task as it is said to fundamentally revolutionizes data processing in industry. It promises great potential, especially for networking IIoT environments with continuous data output, thus, it is only natural that Edge is deeply rooted within all parts of PLCnext Technology. Klick on the Edge Model to learn more!

Please note, all descriptions are based on documents of the EECC! (European Edge Computing Consortium) The RAMEC is not fully specified and still in progress.

PLCnext Technology and the Edge Paradigm

Still questions left?

You have got a question? Then take a look at our FAQs or ask directly in the forum. Other users or one of our PLCnext Technology experts will answer your question as soon as possible. Find 24/7 support fired by creative and technically competent community users.

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See for yourself with the starterkit. What are you waiting for?

PLCnext Technology - StarterkitWith this starterkit you can try out the operating principle, handling, and high performance of PLCnext Technology in a small-scale  application. The application includes a PLCnext Control AXC F 2152 and a backplane with four Axioline Smart Elements. This station can be extended to your needs if you wish.

Buy Starterkit

 

PLCnext Technology

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Node-REDNode-RED is installed as a function extension on the Linux operating system of your PLCnext Contol whereby the flows are executed outside the real-time environment. More about node-red OPC UAYour PLCnext Control has an embedded OPC UA server and focuses on a deep integration of the OPC UA specification and mechanisms to get you well ahead for the next industrial revolution. More About OPC UA PythonPython has become one of the most popular programming languages and offers ready-to-use solutions for almost every problem in IIoT business. Therefore, your PLCnext Control already offers an integrated Python 3 interpreter. More About Python DockerYour PLCnext Control is Docker ready - it combines the reliability of a control system with the possibilities of modern software distribution. More About Docker 

As innovation cycles shorten, automation systems must be able to be adapted ever more quickly in the future. For many companies this means a change in thinking, changes in processes and other approaches. For example, know-how will have to be purchased more often in the future and many further developments and innovations will be created primarily by communities and the creativity of many idea providers. Flexibility and efficiency will become the most urgent requirement for us all. That means, reuse what has already been developed and proven, and maximum openness. Openness in thinking and openness of systems.

Why using PLCnext Control

PLCnext Technology is a new ecosystem that expands the use of a PLC in ways that will change the future of automation. This state-of-the-art digital ecosystem offers an open Linux environment for edge computing with access to more data via IoT systems and more flexibility with open source code. PLCnext Technology presents a new development environment offering HTML5 visualization and seamless integration of high-level languages. Configure your PLCnext Control as a Profinet controller and integrate manufacturer-independent Profinet devices into your application.

 

You need to know more? Here are four more reasons why it has never been easier for you to use a PLCnext Control:

 

Node-RED

Node-RED is a visual programming tool, based on the node.js JavaScript runtime environment. It seamlessly interacts with the other programs running on the PLCnxt control, e.g. the classic IEC61131 program. There are different nodes available, which can be used like function blocks in IEC programming. A combination of different nodes is called a flow which corresponds to a program in the IEC world. The flows are executed outside the real-time environment of the PLCnext Control. The communication between Node-RED and the PLCnext programs can be easily achieved e.g. via OPC UA or the REST API.  Node-RED is installed as a function extension on the Linux operating system. The programming is done in a web-based editor. Node-RED is open source and supported by a large global community of programmers.

 

The recommended way to install node.js is through the PLCnext Store. Here is a full guide on how to proceed PLCnext Community

 

OPC UA

PLCnext Technology focuses on a deep integration of the OPC UA specification and mechanisms and is already well prepared for the future of the next industrial revolution with its embedded OPC UA server. The integrated OPC UA Server (eUA Server) supports the user from the commissioning phase to the productive operation in the plant. In addition to the features for data access via DataAccess and subscriptions, additional OPC UA facets are supported, such as automatic certificate exchange according to the OPC UA GDS standard, file access to the Linux file system, access to historical data and support of alarms from both the IEC 61131-3 and C++ context. OPC UA (Open Platform Communication Unified Architecture) is, among other things, the basis for an ever stronger, manufacturer-independent and secure networking of the individual components and machines of a modern factory.

Learn more about how OPC UA can be helpful to you and get started with some easy applications.

 

In the Makers Blog, you’ll also find more articles that will help you getting started with your PLCnext Control and Node-RED like, e.g. installing Node.js on a RFC 4072S or using Node-RED as an OPC UA client.

 

Python

Python is a powerful language with plenty of applications for Industrie 4.0, including Machine Learning and Cloud connectivity, so it’s a natural fit for applications that use PLCnext Technology. Therefore, PLCnext Control already offers an integrated Python3 interpreter and, hence, is optimally equipped for your applications. Python has become one of the most popular programming languages and offers ready-to-use solutions for almost every problem thanks to the enormous community support.

This tutorial will help you install Python and PIP on a PLCnext Control.

 

Docker Support

Starting with firmware version 2020.0, PLCnext Control AXC F 2152 is now docker ready. That means it’s even easier to create, deploy, and run your PLCnext Technology applications.

For many years, the use of OCI containers (such as Docker or balena) has revolutionized the IT landscape. They allow for an easier and quicker management of existing or custom features and their integration into a continuous automated development process. Thus, PLCnext Technology combines the reliability of a control system with the possibilities of modern software distribution. Create your own microservices, use existing applications and manage your container fleet on PLCnext Control!

Learn more about the application and discuss with our specialists in the Community Forum.

Read this Makers Blog entry which demonstrates how an OCI container can be used to easily turn a PLCnext Control into an AWS IoT Greengrass device.

See for yourself with the starterkit. What are you waiting for?

PLCnext Technology - StarterkitWith this starterkit you can try out the operating principle, handling, and high performance of PLCnext Technology in a small-scale  application. The application includes a PLCnext Control AXC F 2152 and a backplane with four Axioline Smart Elements. This station can be extended to your needs if you wish.

Buy Starterkit

 

  • 1. Application Layer

    EECC!: Local execution of domain specific application logic

     

    PLCnext Technology offers the implementation of specific application logic in different programming languages and even as ready to use application.

  • 2. Information Layer

    EECC!: Information models for interoperable data exchange and analytics

     

    PLCnext Technology will support OPC UA information models with data access and methods support.

  • 3. Middleware Layer

    EECC!: Execution and communication environment for the application layer

     

    The PLCnext Technology offers different technologies for the application layer like OPC UA and a IEC 61131 based PLC runtime. Moreover, PLCnext Technology offers a completely open system which allows the usage of other runtimes e.g. Node-RED or IEC 61499. Both are already available in the PLCnext Store.

  • 4. Operating System Layer

    EECC!: Core operating system to interface to the silicon and extensions

     

    The PLCnext Technology is based on a Linux Kernel with a PREEMT-RT Patch.

  • 5. Silicon Layer

    EECC!: Core computing, memory and storage architecture

     

    The PLCnext Technology supports different architectures. For example, some PLCnext Control are using ARM and x86 architecture. The use of SD-Cards offers a wide range of different memory sizes.

  • 6. Connectivity Layer

    EECC!: Wired and wireless technologies for I/O with devices and connections to next hops

     

    PLCnext Technology Products can easily access I/O directly (AXC) or with different (ethernet based) fieldbuses.

  • I. Security

    EECC!: Cross layer mechanisms to implement security measures

     

    Deep integration of different mechanisms and procedures at all levels of PLCnext Technology and the development environment PLCnext Engineer. Therefore, PLCnext Technology offers security-by-design, so that the security aspects are implemented in accordance with the world's leading IEC 62443 standard.

  • II. Real-Time

    EECC!: Cross layer mechanisms to support hard real-time behavior. Edge computing is divided into generic cross layer computation blocks, each profiled for worst case behavior. A designer’s primary approach is ensure a collective worst case behavior/latency and decide upon task time constraints

     

    The PLCnext Technology offers a bunch of mechanisms for hard real-time behavior. For example the PREEMT-RT Patch for the computing and real time communication with different fieldbuses. Moreover, it will be equipped with TSN mechnisms in near future.

  • III. Acceleration

    EECC!: Cross layer mechanisms to accelerate various applications. Tasks are generally offloaded to accelerator with the intention that the system is able to save computation bandwidth or energy. Prior information about the task is needed so that parallelism or early processing is possible

     

    The PLCnext Technology supports multicore architectures. This allows the split of realtime and non-realtime applications on different cores via the Execution and Synchronisation Manager (ESM).

  • IV. Management

    EECC!: Cross layer mechanisms to allow resource management, such as onboarding, updating, etc

     

    The PLCnext Technology will soon be equipped with a full Device Management system. This allows the management of firmwaare update, diagnosis etc.

Edge in PLCnext Technology

In order to optimize automation processes, production plant operators and responsible persons need data from their production plants. Often it is looked upon Edge Computing for this task as it is said to fundamentally revolutionizes data processing in industry. It promises great potential, especially for networking IIoT environments with continuous data output, thus, it is only natural that Edge is deeply rooted within all parts of PLCnext Technology. Klick on the Edge Model to learn more!

Please note, all descriptions are based on documents of the EECC! (European Edge Computing Consortium) The RAMEC is not fully specified and still in progress.

 

PLCnext Technology - Starterkit

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PLCnext Technology - Starterkit