It’s the hot and sticky part of summer here in the upper Midwest. Lots of high temps, high humidity and finally, baseball games, picnics and boating. When you live in a cold climate you take advantage of summers, you absorb summers, and you revel in the heat.


One of the things that many callers seem to want to take advantage of right now is CoDeSys. They all have the same basic reason that I had when I started with CoDeSys. There really is too much programming to do and not enough programmers around with the right training to do it all.


That’s a trend that we are going to continue to see in the future. There is going to be much less custom, grind it out, cowboy C code development and more high level structured programming. And yes, that applies to small microprocessor systems too.


You see this trend in both Industrial and Building Automation. In fact, it is more prevalent in Buildings. That’s probably because the kinds of functions needed in buildings are more standard. All buildings have dampers. All buildings have air handlers, elevators, plumbing systems. There are temperature sensors, fire systems, air exchangers and the rest. The ways that all those things interact is pretty standard. People like Tridium came up with JACE and have been off to the races ever since.


Industrial is kind of a different story. Every machine is pretty customized. It’s a pretty different process to make diapers than it is to make detergent or car fenders. The kinds of sensors and actuators used in each process are different. The way that these kinds of automation devices communicate is different. There are all those networks to deal with; EtherNet/IP, DeviceNet, Profibus, Modbus TCP and all the rest.


The big problem that I hear a lot about is getting more done, faster, in a more standard way. I reading a book now called the Checklist Manifesto. You might want to pick it up. It’s written by a doctor who tried to discover how to standardize the process of medical care. It’s very interesting. Medical care is ruled by THE physician responsible for the patient. This is equivalent to the Master Builder of old; the ones that built the Vatican, Notre Dame, the Louve and the US Capitol. This doctor discovers that checklists are what ensure that very complicated and complex projects are done with the right technology, in the right way at the right time. A very interesting and good read.


To get more done in a faster more standard way in our industry requires tools like CoDeSys. It eliminates all that background noise that gets in the way of making the automation device do what you want it to do when you want it done.


We’re going to see more and more of IEC 61131-3 tools like CoDeSys in the future. And that’s a good thing!