Modern Machine Shop
B&R Industrial Automation’s Automation Studio 4 software features a variety of automatic functions as well as true-to-life architecture modeling, version control, support for shared projects and object-oriented programming. The software provides project modularization, enabling individual projects to be split into manageable pieces so that several developers can work on them at the same time.
The integrated software development environment contains tools for all phases of a project, including programming, visualization, configuration, diagnostics/simulation and communication. From logic control to drive and motion control (even CNC and robotic control), the controller, drives, visualization and communications are configured in a single environment. Hardware configuration is handled by arranging photorealistic images of components. The necessary configuration parameters are automatically applied, which saves time and prevents errors, the company says.
The software is equipped with an interface to Eplan Electric P8, which enables the synchronization of ECAD projects and Automation Studio hardware configuration. Similar interfaces to simulation programs make it possible to verify the results of development or, conversely, to use the results of simulation as a starting point for system design, the company says. Communication via OPC Unified Architecture provides compatibility with other systems, and direct support of Web technologies simplifies the development of visualization, process monitoring and remote diagnostic applications.
Programmers can use the included IEC 6113-1 programming languages (Ladder Logic, Structured Text, Ansi C, for example), or C++. Programmers can combine any of these languages as required, the company says. A smart editor uses function libraries and sections of pre-programmed code to provide context-sensitive suggestions. Visualization templates also accelerate the design of user interfaces.