The Standard

The IEC 61499 Standard defines an open architecture for the next generation of distributed control and automation.

This architecture represents a component solution for distributed industrial automation systems aiming at portability, reusability  interoperability, reconfiguration of distributed applications. The IEC 61499 Standard provides a generic model for distributed systems. This model includes processes and communication networks as an environment for embedded devices, resources and applications. Applications are built by networks of Function Blocks.

The Function Block is the elementary model of the IEC 61499 Standard. A Function Block generally provides an Interface for Event I/O’s and Data I/O’s. There are two types of Function Blocks. Basic Function Blocks on the one hand and Composite Function Blocks on the other. A Composite Function Block can contain other Composite Function Blocks and/or Basic Function Blocks. Thus, Composite Function Blocks enable modular design methodologies. Basic Function Blocks include event-driven Execution Control Charts (abbr. ECC), which are state machines. The elements of the ECC are states and event-triggered transitions. An ECC can trigger the execution of Algorithms by the occurrence of events.

IEC 61499 provides:

  • Combination of distributed programming language and legacy PLC programming with IEC 61131-3
  • Generic modeling approach for distributed control applications
  • Function Block concept
  • Separation of data and event flow

Interested? So have a look at running test bed implementations!
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Keywords: industrial automation; distributed control; automation objects; function block