Programmable Logic Controllers and Human-Machine Interfaces are governed by automation software which is responsible for the whole life cycle of the plant or machinery automation process. From the initial stages of planning and design, to programming and configuring the units, state-of-the-art automation software follows the journey right through to the commissioning stages, system implementation and any necessary upgrades.
Efficient and intuitive automation software is capable of comprehensive systems integration, being designed with harmonised interfaces that allow for a high level of data consistency. Modern automation software makes creating a fully integrated engineering environment easy, even for entry-level programmers.
Basic automation software provides a cost-efficient solution for many automation control processes, and is programmed with WinCC Basic, an HMI software for automated process control. This can be used to engineer Programmable Logic Controllers and configure HMI basic panels. More complicated professional packages include easily created technology objects and time-saving libraries, direct online diagnostics and the efficient re-use of programming and work components.
Basic automation software supports several IEC standard programming languages, including FBD (Function Block Diagram), LAD (Ladder Diagram) and SCL (structured text). Expansion modules are available for many controllers, including Safety versions for fail-safe automation and an advanced simulation package.
Developments in automation controller software advance the original functions on an almost daily basis, but new generations of software can usually interface with all their progenitors. Every preceding generation of PC or PLC based controller, whether it's basic, advanced or distributed, can now be programmed, tested and diagnosed; even other software controllers.