CODESYS, the market-leading, manufacturer-independent IEC 61131 software, already contains the necessary features for use in industry 4.0 environments, such as object-oriented programming, integrated add-on tools for methodical application development, connection to an online "app shop" platform, web visualization, and supported communication protocols, such as OPC UA, https or MQTT.
At the CODESYS Technology Day on 16 May, the Kempten-based CODESYS manufacturer presented its new Industry 4.0 platform to more than 400 experts from all over the world. The "CODESYS Automation Server" will complete the CODESYS product portfolio in the future as the third backbone along with the runtime and engineering products. It simplifies typical tasks that were very difficult to accomplish until now. A web interface provides a quick overview of all compatible controllers in the network. Users can immediately see controller status and application versions, and, if necessary, roll out new applications directly via browser - no matter whether the data is displayed on a PC, tablet or even smartphone. Other convenient functions: Central commissioning of numerous controllers with one and the same application, commissioning by service personnel without the CODESYS Development System, and exchange of controllers using an automated backup/restore mechanism. The server platform is not a monolithic system, but can be extended by individual function modules if required. More function modules are already in the pipeline. The CODESYS Automation Server can be installed on common cloud systems as well as on server architectures of machine and plant manufacturers and operators.
In addition to the CODESYS Automation Server, the CODESYS team presented numerous innovations to the existing functionality that make compatible devices in the Industry 4.0 environment even more powerful. IT security vulnerabilities, displayed by a new, integrated threat modeling editor, were fixed at application runtime via a security patch of the PLC runtime system. Furthermore, there was a live demonstration of how application data can easily be transferred from any CODESYS controller to cloud systems from Microsoft or Amazon Web Services, where they generate real benefit. In an example project with decentralized intelligence, the Kempten-based company showed the tremendous advantages of the new communication and administration options: A very clear overview even of elaborate control networks thanks to the CODESYS Automation Server, plus all the benefits that come with the extended integrated visualization. The result: A significantly reduced engineering effort, and improved visualization design options.