Design and validate PLC algorithms in a simulation environment

PLC simulation is a method of designing and verifying algorithms. Engineers use PLC simulation software to design control systems and control logic and evaluate system behavior through a model of the plant.

PLC simulation enables control design early in the development process, before the electrical and mechanical components are commissioned.  Engineers can build, test, and validate software simulations of controllers without any risk to a machine operator or to the machine.

Figure 1: Traditional waterfall process (top) and model-driven control design process (bottom), which uses PLC simulation and achieves earlier start of production.

Using plant modeling and PLC simulation, you can generate hardware-independent IEC 61131-3 code (Structured Text or Ladder Diagram) or C/C++ code for deployment on PLC IDEs.

Support for Third-Party IDEs

Vendor IDE IEC 61131-3 C/C++
3S - Smart Software Solutions CODESYS™  
ABB / B&R Industrial Automation Automation Studio™
Bachmann Electronic SolutionCenter
Beckhoff Automation TwinCAT
Bosch Rexroth IndraWorks
Mitsubishi Electric CW Workbench  
Ingeteam Ingesys IC3  
Omron Sysmac® Studio  
Phoenix Contact PC WORX™
Rockwell Automation RSLogix™/Studio 5000  
Siemens TIA Portal/STEP® 7

You can perform PLC simulation with MATLAB®, Simulink®, and Model-Based Design. Many PLC IDEs support automatic generation of PLC code (IEC 61131 or C/C++) directly from MATLAB and Simulink.

PLC simulation is part of the workflow for Model-Based Design. When applied to the design of industrial control systems, Model-Based Design enables you to:

Using Model-Based Design and PLC simulation, you can design controls for industrial systems with more flexibility and independence from the PLC hardware platform you use. You achieve greater reliability through testing and avoid programing errors by automatically generating code from models.

Software Reference

See also: control design software, control logic, embedded code generation, finite state machine, formal verification, linearization, parameter estimation, physical modeling, PID control, PID control videos, PID tuning, rapid prototyping, real-time simulation, rslogix videos, simulation and Model-Based Design, state diagram, system design and simulation, verification, validation, control systems, PLC Coder, virtual commissioning with Simulink