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Combining Software Methods for Effective Deployment of Programmable Logic Controllers (PLCs)


Lucien Ngalamou, Leary Myers


Vol. 10  No. 12  pp. 134-146


This paper presents a preliminary study of an approach that models programmable logic controllers (PLCs) for their effective deployment in industrial control processes. A working model is developed for automatic allocation of PLCs and also a formal verification of Ladder Diagram representations of control processes using the Symbolic Model Verifier (SMV) tool. Automatic resource allocation is achieved through the proposition of a digraph model for any Ladder Diagram representation of a control process, which is then translated to an XML (Extensible Mark Up Language) model. The required PLC resources needed to implement a control process are extracted from the XML model. These resources are then used by a selection engine to determine, from a PLC database, the most appropriate PLCs or Embedded Controllers (EBCs) that can satisfy the resource requirements. Additionally, information extracted from the XML model is used to generate a formally verifiable SMV code of the system. This paper focuses on the practical implementation, testing, and verification of three conceptual modules applied to a control process. These are, the XML model of the control process, the PLC Database Automatic Resource Allocation, and the XML-to-SMV translator. This work was significantly motivated by the ever increasing number of industries who seek to increase their productivity by automating their processes.


Automatic Resource Allocation, XML Model, Programmable Logic Controllers (PLCs), PLC Database, XML to SMV Translation, Formal Verification