Monday, September 25, 2000
Woonsocket, RI--Since last spring when Control.com Inc.'s
President Ken Crater first announced the LinuxPLC list, an online forum
dedicated to creating an open source PLC (programmable logic controller) that
runs under the Linux operating system, membership has grown from 150 to 350
"Control.com (www.control.com) is advancing the industry
toward the open-controls paradigm, where interoperability among different
vendors' products allows designers to create control systems with the products
that work best for their applications," says Crater. In addition to hosting such
peer forums, Control.com provides services and interchange opportunities within
the controls community. The company plans to play a key role in the
establishment of open control as the norm, through the integration, supply,
service, and support of open systems and their components.
The latest offering from Control.com is a public archive of
contributed PLC programming. Based on a discussion among A-List members from
around the world, participants agreed that control engineers could really use
access to existing PLC programs that had been developed and tested by other
industry engineers. "There are many recurring themes in the programming of
automated machinery," explains Crater. "This forum allows people to share their
experience and 'tricks of the trade' with others."
The PLC Archive is for both seasoned control engineers and junior
designers who want to share their strategies for solving control problems and/or
want to learn from their colleagues. PLC program files in PDF format can be
uploaded or downloaded at www.PLCarchive.org.
Automation List member Joe Jansen, who manages production
automation and data collection in the manufacturing plant at Wisconsin-based
Gehl's, agreed to maintain the archive and is working closely with staff at
Control.com to make as many programs as possible available.
"I would like to see the PLC Archive bring some of the benefits of
the open source movement to the plant floor, which is currently closed and
proprietary. The PLC Archive provides a place where PLC, servo, and other
control programmers can share techniques and ideas to improve system design and
functionality," says Jansen. Additional volunteers will perform format
conversions where necessary.