PLCopen Extends the Basic Specification of Motion Control

CA Zaltbommel, (PresseBox) - The PLCopen Motion Control initiative is a huge world wide success. With over 20 companies and well over 30 products supporting this specification, the user has a wide choice of suppliers and products all with the same look and feel.

The first release of PLCopen Motion Control was done in November 2001 with Part 1. Feedback from both users and implementers resulted in an update in 2005, Version 1.1, of Part 1. Also in 2005 the first official release of Part 2 - Extensions was published.

New ideas, new functionalities and new feedback resulted in 2008 in the decision to merge both part 1 and 2 in a new specification, to be released as version 2.0. The changes include:

- A new input 'Continuous Update' extending the behavior of the relevant motion related function blocks by extending the Execute and Enable functionality to all relevant FBs
- A new Function Block CombineAxes, combining the motion of 2 axes into a 3rd axis with selectable combination method. Basically it is a calculation of a new position setpoint based on the 2 position setpoints of the input axes.
- New Function Blocks ReadMotionState and ReadAxisInfo
- The simplification of the representation of the State Diagram, with a.o. the removal of the transition commands
- Adopted description resulting in a changed behavior of the output Active
- Split of Phasing and MoveContinuous FBs in to a both relative and absolute versions
- New input MasterValueSource and corresponding datatype in MC_CamIn, MC_GearIn, MC_GearInPos, MC_ReadMotionState, and MC_CombineAxes

With these new functionalities, the PLCopen Motion Control profile can be used in additional application areas. Areas where the easeofuse provided is unknown until now. This new specification is planned to be released in May for comments during a 4 months period.


PLCopen was founded in 1992 as an independent worldwide association for industrial suppliers and users. It is the leading association resolving topics related to industrial control programming. PLCopen creates concepts to reduce the costs of industrial automation. These cost savings are realized in areas such as engineering, training, operation and maintenance. Together with its members, PLCopen creates specifications to materialize these concepts.

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