CODESYS Automation Platform
The customer wants to use CODESYS as SoftPLC and POWERLINK as field bus. The PLC must be a Managing Node (MN).
CODESYS provides integrated fieldbus support for many Ethernet or serial based protocols. POWERLINK though, is not supported.
Moreover, users are familiar with the integrated user-friendly configuration editors for different protocols in the CODESYS IDE.
We used the open source openPOWERLINK stack provided by the Ethernet Powerlink Standardization Group and integrated it in the CODESYS Control Runtime System environment. A CODESYS runtime I/O driver was developed to access the stack from the CODESYS core.
On the IDE, a new editor was developed to configure the Managing Node (MN), Controlled Node (CN) and import .xsd description files from CN devices.
To improve performance on Linux based devices, we had to replace the PCAP interface and use raw-sockets instead (development becoming part of the openPOWERLINK stack from V2.7)
As a result, this integration is available as product for any device manufacturer that wants to use CODESYS and POWERLINK.
POWERLINK is a natural upgrade from CANopen users to Ethernet based fieldbus. The availability of the stack as open source software makes the solution very attractive and cost effective in many vertical markets such as factory automation or mobile machines automation.
A demokit is available for anyone interested in the solution (see resources).