OpenControl improves productivity and reduces costs. This proven 32-bit Microsoft Windows application replaces proprietary PLCs and enables enterprise access to the plant floor. OpenControl's flexibility and high-performance reduce machinery and equipment life-cycle costs, and optimize production performance.
OpenControl provides a framework to program and run machine control applications on a Windows NT/2000 system. The framework for OpenControl includes one main program, the framework editor, and a number of Dynamic Link Library (DLL) files that define the behavior of user configurable resources. Resources include such items as flowcharts, device related input/output (I/O), and variables in logic memory.
You create projects within the OpenControl Development Framework (OCDF) and use either the Visual Flowchart Language (VFL) or the Relay Ladder Logic (RLL) editor to program your machine control application. VFL represents flowchart-based programming and real-time control. RLL simulates the legacy PLC programming tools based on the IEC 1131 standard. Either way, the framework arranges the project's resources in a hierarchy and displays this in a navigable development environment. Each resource's properties describe instructions and attributes for that resource. You build the project by adding resources to the project's hierarchy and defining the resource properties.
After completing a project, you can debug and build (compile) the project into an executable control application. A control engine drives the application's runtime operations, and the HyperKernel extensions for Windows NT/2000 enable deterministic real-time control of your application's tasks.
You can connect to third party Windows compatible software such as spreadsheets through the popular Dynamic Data Exchange (DDE) interface. For further enhancement of your machine control application, you can use OLE for Process Control (OPC) or the OpenControl APIs and DLLs to add operator interfaces, enterprise-wide networking, and other high-powered capabilities.
Benefits of OpenControl
Lean Controls Architecture
- Common, standard user interface for all plant control systems
- Reduced system development and integration startup time
- Incremental system upgrades with technology improvements
- Simplified implementation of flexible manufacturing
- Leverage cost advantage of PCs
- Lower cost and reduced complexity of plant floor controls
Performance You Can Rely On
- Increased productivity
- More efficient machine performance
- Reduced downtime
Compatibility and Connectivity
- Easy integration and migration from proprietary PLC I/O networks
- Real-time, enterprise-wide transfer of control data
- Simple, common approach to communication and networking
Whatever network you currently use, you can integrate OpenControl and flowchart-based applications with your system. Support for the most popular I/O systems, including the next generation of intelligent I/O device networks, affords easy migration from proprietary PLCs.
To capture and interact with real-world information, OpenControl provides superior connectivity, speed, and flexibility. Fluid interaction among control, network, and office applications through a common database makes real-time plant floor data available throughout your entire enterprise. It also smooths information flow from remote locations to the plant floor.
Flowcharting and Ladder — the Best of Both Worlds
Nematron invented the Visual Flowcharting Language® (VFL) for machine control (patent #4,852,047). Our customers have found flowcharting to be a natural, timesaving approach to logic control programming that can be understood by anyone, whether your background is electrical, mechanical, or IT. Machine and process designers in particular benefit because they can actually program in a familiar and intuitive language that system and control engineers also understand. Diagnostics are especially well suited to flowcharts, allowing you to provide thorough, accurate, and timely information to operators and maintenance personnel.
Nematron's Visual Flowchart Editor includes countless features for intuitive ease-of-use, including auto-block sizing, automatic line connection, right-click menus, and more.
Nematron software also includes a Relay Ladder Logic editor for those who appreciate the benefits of PC-based control but have legacy systems that are too expensive to redesign. The user can freely mix ladder diagrams and flowcharts within a single system for maximum flexibility.
A free evaluation version of OpenControl 5.5 is available at nematron.com/Demos.