Thramboulidis, K.; Frey, G.: Towards a Model-Driven IEC 61131-based Development Process in Industrial Automation. Journal of Software Engineering and Applications, Vol. 4 No. 4, April 2011, pp. 217-226 DOI: 10.4236/jsea.2011.44024



The IEC 61131-3 standard defines a model and a set of programming languages for the development of industrial automation software. It is widely accepted by industry and most of the commercial tool vendors advertise compliance with it. On the other side, Model Driven Development (MDD) has been proved as a quite successful paradigm in general-purpose computing. This was the motivation for exploiting the benefits of MDD in the industrial automation domain. With the emerging IEC 61131 specification that defines an object-oriented (OO) extension to the function block model, there will be a push to the industry to better exploit the benefits of MDD in automation systems development. This work discusses possible alternatives to integrate the current but also the emerging specification of IEC 61131 in the model driven development process of automation systems. IEC 61499, UML and SysML are considered as possible alternatives to allow the developer to work in higher layers of abstraction than the one supported by IEC 61131 and to more effectively move from requirement specifications into the implementation model of the system.

Keywords: Industrial Automation Systems, Model Driven Development, IEC 61131, System Modeling, UML, SysML, IEC 61499, Development Process