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2 EN 61131-3 (IEC 61131-3) structuring resources


IEC 61131-3 is the first vendor independent standardized programming language for
industrialautomation. Established by the International Electro technical Commission (IEC) a
worldwidestandard organization founded in 1906 and recognized worldwide for standards in the
controlsindustry by over 50 countries. The standard is already well established in Europe and is
rapidlygaining popularity in North America and Asia as the programming standard for industrial
and process control.The adoption of IEC 61131-3 by the industry is driven by the increasing software
complexity ofcontrol and automation requirements. The time to create, labor cost, and maintainability
ofcontrol software has a major impact on control projects which can be improved using the IEC61131-3
vendor independent programming language standard. Applying a standard programminglanguage has a
positive impact on the software life-cycle that includes requirements analysis,design, construction, testing
(validation), installation, operation, and maintenance. The impact on

Basic PLC Programming


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maintenance is important since control software maintenance, including upgrades, is generally 2-4 times
the labor of initial programming.The IEC 61131-3 standard combined with new powerful free scale chip
architectures enables anentire controller to be delivered in an embedded device. Control programs can run
distributedand independently rather than concentrated in large controllers. No longer are thousands of
linesof control programs required running in one controller for complex automation applications.
Thisincreases performance, improves reliability, and simplifies programs.IEC 61131-3 provides multiple
language support within a control program. The control programdeveloper can select the language that is
best suited to a particular task, greatly increasing their productivity. Plus with
a standardized programming interface that is completely independent ofthe hardware platform, users can
greatly reduce the cost of program maintenance and trainingacross company wide automation
applications.IEC 61131-3 is hardware independent. The ability to transport automation solutions to
other platforms is vastly improved over PLC applications offering users and System Integrators a levelof
reusability never before available. IEC 61131 increases the efficiency and speed ofimplementing new
automation solutions by using readily available control componentsdeveloped on other projects and by
outside developers.Companies that have chosen to implement IEC 61131-3 find that they reduce human
resourcecosts in training, debugging and maintenance, and improve productivity from the
higherreusability.
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