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plc_factory_paper

Paper describing PLC Factory (cf. plc_factory repository)

PLC FACTORY: AUTOMATING ROUTINE TASKS IN LARGE-SCALE PLC SOFTWARE DEVELOPMENT

Authors: G. Ulm, D. Brodrick, N. Levchenko, F. Bellorini

Abstract: At the European Spallation Source in Lund, Sweden, the entire facility including all its instruments will be controlled by a large number of programmable logic controllers (PLCs). Programming PLCs, however, entails a significant amount of repetition. It is thus an error-prone and time-consuming task. Given that PLCs interface with hardware, this involves economic aspects as well, due to the fact that programming errors may cause damage to equipment. With PLC Factory, we managed to automate repetitive tasks associated with PLC programming and interfacing PLCs from EPICS. This tool is being adopted at ESS, and has shown potential for a large increase in productivity compared to the status quo. We describe PLC Factory as well as its embedded domain-specific programming language PLCF#, which it is built upon.