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Machines 2016, 4(2), 13; doi:10.3390/machines4020013

Software Architecture and Framework for Programmable Logic Controllers: A Case Study and Suggestions for Research

1
Penn State Erie, The Behrend College, 5101 Jordan Road, Erie, PA 16563, USA
2
neXCtrl Inc, 2303 Wassner Drive, Reading, PA 19609, USA
ThepaperisanextendedversionofourpaperpublishedinWalters,E.G.,III;Bryla,E.J.TheImpactofPLC Program Architecture on Production Line Efficiency: Case Study of a Control System Rewrite. In Proceedings of the ISA Applications of Automation Conference, Wilmington, DE, USA, 23–25 March 2010.
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Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Burford J. Furman
Received: 31 December 2015 / Revised: 19 June 2016 / Accepted: 20 June 2016 / Published: 22 June 2016
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Abstract

Programmable Logic Controllers (PLCs) are widely used for control and automation of machines and processes, so the quality of PLC software has a direct impact on production efficiency. This paper describes a PLC program for a food production line that was completely rewritten using a different software architecture and framework. The PLC hardware and the production line equipment were not changed, so this project provides an opportunity to quantify the impact of different PLC software architecture on production efficiency. The average number of cases of products produced per production hour during the first ten months with the new program was 6.1% higher than the average during the previous ten months with the old program. PLC software, unlike most other software, is often used by the end-user for troubleshooting. In this case, a relatively simple architecture and framework that favors the end-user significantly improved production efficiency over a more sophisticated architecture and framework that favors the software developer. Suggestions for further research on software architecture and framework are given. View Full-Text
Keywords: programmable logic controller (PLC); programmable automation controller (PAC); software architecture; software framework; software engineering programmable logic controller (PLC); programmable automation controller (PAC); software architecture; software framework; software engineering
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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Walters, E.G.; Bryla, E.J. Software Architecture and Framework for Programmable Logic Controllers: A Case Study and Suggestions for Research. Machines 2016, 4, 13.

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