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Header PLCnext Community Business Case Combining programming languages chemical company TU Dresden

A chemical company, the Technical University of Dresden and Phoenix Contact: Research and industry, hardware and software. The project brings together three very different partners with different backgrounds and requirements for the project. The use case demonstrates how different components can be used to integrate a simple and suitable monitoring system that facilitates the exchange of data between man and machine.

Collaborating on solutions: Made with PLCnext Technology at Gutshof-Brauerei Rethmar


Craft Beer is trending. More and more small gastro and home breweries are being founded worldwide.  The aim is to revive the traditional beer market with new and innovative creations, by consciously distinguishing oneself from the global mainstream. Intensively hopped beers with unique tastes are created. Many of these recipes are developed and optimized by hand. Ultimately, after achieving a satisfactory result, the aim is to make the recipe as easy to reproduce as possible. Then there is no getting around the topic of automation.

Upgrading to future technologies: Made with PLCnext Technology in the power plant in Huntorf


What many people do not know is that Germany is home to a unique power plant -- and not only since today, but going all the way back to the year 1978. The Huntorf power plant is a combined compressed air storage and gas turbine power plant, which is still the only one of its kind in Europe. The power plant uses the working medium of air to store surplus electricity from, for example, wind energy in large underground taverns under high pressure and to release it back into the power grid at a later time. In this way, the compressed air storage system makes a significant contribution to maintaining grid stability. Using this method, the power plant can generate an output of 320 megawatts for several hours. Whereas in the past there was a permanent staff on the site, the plant is now designed to operate with virtually no staff, which means that the operator monitors the power plant remotely to perform switching operations.

In times of climate change, this power plant plays an increasingly important role because renewable energy is often difficult to store. When Huntorf began operation in 1978, the Walkman had just come onto the market. It has now been completely replaced by the smartphone. But why throw away an entire power plant - if you can easily upgrade it to future technologies?

Python in industrial automation


Yuri Chamarelli

Lead Product Marketing Specialist


When we start the conversation about which programming languages to use for industrial automation use cases, we usually begin by talking about IEC 61131-3 languages for PLCs, such as the classic Ladder Diagram (LD) or Structured Text (ST). For applications like robotics, we often see compiled, low-level programming languages like those found in the C family.

Until very recently, nobody was talking about using Python on the factory floor. What’s changed to make an interpreted, high-level language become suddenly appealing? Python code typically runs slower than a compiled language that’s closer to machine code, and it’s certainly not up to the task of real-time control, which is a major sticking point when developing industrial systems.

5 THings your PLC can't do but should


Dipl.-Ing. Boris Waldeck

Senior Project Manager Software


Today, the comprehensive protection of machines and systems against unauthorized access is an important requirement for automation systems. Is it enough here to extend devices with security functions? Or is security a function of the entire automation solution? The IEC 62443 standard specifies the security processes and functions required for this. Read the following blog post to find out what you need to consider when implementing this standard in your automation system.

The worldwide security standard IEC 62443 aims for a holistic approach to cyber security in automation technology. For this purpose, it describes three roles (operator, integrator and component manufacturer) and defines the necessary measures. For all roles, security-by-design proves to be an essential framework condition. The IEC 62443 series of standards consists of 13 parts in which the security requirements for processes, the functional measures and the state of the art are specified for each role

When developing automation devices, their function can only be secured through security-by-design. Once the foundation has been laid, the security of the individual integration phases defined in IEC 62443 is transformed into a secure-by-design solution that is suitable for numerous use cases.

5 THings your PLC can't do but should


Christian Vilsbeck



Open Source is of central importance for Industry 4.0 and IoT. Powerful and open control platforms use an open source Linux as a basis. The openness enables the use of free software for individual control tasks or applications. This minimizes not only the development costs and risks, but also increases flexibility for changing production conditions and makes complexity manageable by using existing solutions. The advantages outweigh when important basic conditions are taken into account.

5 THings your PLC can't do but should


Marcel Luhmann

Technology Manager


In current time it's hard to find skilled staff for automation engineering. The challenges in automation are getting more and more complex. The way to meet these challenges is equally complex and different than in the past. Due to the complexity, automation engineers get an even wider range of tasks like maintenance and support.

5 THings your PLC can't do but should


Zachary Stank

Product Manager Control, Safety, I/Os


Programmable logic controllers (PLCs) are extremely common across a variety of industries, including manufacturing, oil/gas, and transportation. Essentially, they are just another type of computer. Though they differ from PCs in many ways, Machine Design provides a succinct definition that highlights their differences: “a programmable logic controller is a digital computer designed for automation and industrial controls. It was created to resist to a wide range of operating conditions, including temperature, pressure, electrical noises, and vibrations. The most important feature that truly led to its success is that it is a hard real-time system.”

A PLC collects inputs, analyzes them with its internal logic, and then creates outputs based on that analysis. It repeats this cycle ad infinitum, all the while withstanding harsh environments. This makes PLCs dependable tools, and so businesses around the world rely on them in production environments.

Everything, however, has a limit. PLCs are no different. In fact, as we move towards Industrie 4.0 with the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT), these limitations are becoming even more pronounced.

These are the top five things that PLCs can’t do.

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