For decades now, Opto 22 has been recognized for its contributions to industrial control and I/O technologies. The company has also been at the forefront in bringing new technologies to industrial automation—such as Node-Red, MQTT and RESTful APIs—to connect devices and access controller data.
Now the company has announced that it’s expanding the programming options of its groov EPIC controller with the addition of IEC 61131-3 programming options to EPIC’s existing PAC Control and Linux OS custom user-written options. With this addition, groov EPIC now supports all IEC 61131-3-standard languages, including Function Block Diagram, StructuredText, Sequential Function Charts and Ladder Diagram.
Benson Hougland noted at the ARC Industry Forum that EPIC has been the company’s fastest selling product over the past two decades, but many potential users want to be able to program it in languages other than PAC Control (Opto 22’s native flowchart-based programming language) or on Linux via secure shell access.
“PAC Control users love EPIC, but those who don't use PAC Control are skeptical of it because they don't want to learn a new language,” he said. "Most engineers have been trained in IEC 61131 and we already had a relationship with CoDeSys Group [the developer of the software supporting the IEC 61131 languages], so now we’re giving engineers a third programming option with the addition of IEC 61131. It’s a big shift for us, but a shift in the right direction.”
Opto 22 notes that, by adding the IEC 61131 option, engineers can now pick the best software tool for their specific application and mix and match several software tools to build control and IIoT systems on one unified platform with EPIC.
Hougland added that existing EPIC users will receive the CoDeSys runtime enabling IEC 61131-3 programming via an automatic firmware upgrade.
This addition of IEC 61131-3 programming capabilities also carries over to Opto 22’s groov View human-machine interface (HMI) via EPIC. According to the company, once an IEC-61131-3, PAC Control or custom software application is developed, the control program's tags and I/O are available for building a groov View HMI. Data from other systems and equipment on premises, at remote locations and in the cloud can also be included in the HMI. Authorized users can use this HMI to view data and control processes on the integral, industrial-grade color touchscreen display on the front of the EPIC processor. They can also view the HMI on an external HDMI monitor, and from any web browser or mobile device.