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Industrial Automation & Control
4diac 1.11.0 Release is Ready for Download!
2019-10-07 news image Age: 15 days

We are very proud to announce the 4diac 1.11.0 release!

With this release we officially updated to Eclipse Public License, Version 2.0! Apart from many bug fixes and improvements the main changes and new features in 4diac 1.11.0 are:

A full list of all bugs addressed in this release can be found on the 1.10.0 release page

As always please download, test, and report problems and bugs. For 1.9.x and 1.10.x users a simple Help -> Check of Updates should upgrade you to 1.11.0.

Cheers,
The 4diac Team


Announcing the 4days of 4diac Summit
2019-09-17 news image Age: 35 days

Over the last 12 years Eclipse 4diac has grown into the open source PLC solution, with users and contributors all over the world. Up to now we have mostly interacted through our forum, mailing list and Mattermost channel. With the 4days of 4diac summit we would like to change that, and bring you all together in one place.

Therefore, we invite you all to Linz from November 11th till November 14th to discuss and program with each other on new 4diac topics and applications.

We wanted to make the event as low barrier as possible: So we provide the meeting rooms and coffee, and you bring your time and ideas. Our goal is turn this event into 4days of showing, discussing, planning, hacking, experimenting, learning with Eclipse 4diac.

4 days for the 4diac community to meet and exchange! For details on location, registration and programm please visit the 4days of 4diac page.

We are looking forward to meet you in Linz,
The 4diac Team


Improved OPC UA support for 4diac
2019-09-02 Age: 50 days

After some months of working, the improved OPC UA module for 4diac is now finally merged in the developed branch.

Why change the OPC UA Module?

After working with OPC UA and real cases with different companies using different OPC UA stacks, we realized that the OPC UA module in FORTE wasn't reliable and often crashed, and wasn't easy to extend. Also, we noticed that other companies had the same problem. So we decided to make a deep clean-up of the OPC UA module and add the capabilities we found were needed.

So... what's new?

The changes were done in the FORTE code, and the main things include:

But, how good is it actually?

I like it already, how do I use it?

You need to use the develop branch of FORTE. The usage has changed a little, but the documentation is already up online. The main changes are which Function Blocks are used for different OPC UA capabilites and how does the ID looks like.

So, please use it, test it and open bugs for it. And of course, if you want to contribute to it, please do it by pushing your changes to FORTE's branch "feature/MO44GA" which will trigger the CI.

Cheers,
The 4diac Team


GSoC Project - Final Report on Improving Dynamic Type Loading
2019-08-29 news image Age: 54 days

Hey All!

Here is the last update on my GSoC project. The last phase is now finished and we tried to finalize everything. With this last update, I want to give you an overview of everything that has been done and everything I learned throughout the project.

Before starting the project, I got myself familiar with the programming language Lua. Doing the Lua starting book and all examples within it. My first steps in the Eclipse 4diac IDE where to build a whole set of function blocks to test the code generator. Starting from simple functionality like conditional statements or assigments to calling structured text functions or adapters. I tried to cover nearly all functionality the Eclipse 4diac provides. Overall I created 35 different function blocks for testing the tool:

Afterwards, I already used these function blocks to identify what exactly was working in the code generator. I started creating a buglist in Bugzilla as a roadmap on the bugs I found. After some minor bugfixes, I started fixing the bigger ones. e.g.

Unfortunately, I was not able to fix all identified bugs. Eventhough the project is finished with this month, I want to keep working with the Eclipse 4diac team and especially on the dynamic type loader.

To summarize my experience with GSoC and the Eclipse 4diac Team, it was incredible. Not only that I learned a new programming language, Lua, I got to know Xtend, an extension for the Java language itself and also an overlook of the C++ programming language. I also worked a lot in the Eclipse 4diac IDE itself, getting to know the whole programming environment. But the most important thing was to get to know an open and communicative community, that helped me with every problem I had. I had a really splendid time working on this project and want to thank you all for your assistance and help throughout the project.
Thank you all!

Cheers,
Jan


4diac 1.10.3: Third Maintenance Release for 4diac 1.10
2019-08-21 news image Age: 62 days

We are proud to announce the third maintenance release for Eclipse 4diac 1.10 providing 14 bug fixes for 4diac IDE, and 3 for 4diac FORTE.

As always please download, test, and report problems and bugs. For 1.9.x and 1.10.x users a simple Help -> Check of Updates should upgrade you to 1.10.3.

Cheers,
The 4diac Team


Happy Birthday Eclipse 4diac!
2019-07-23 news image Age: 91 days

12 years ago a small group of researchers presented the first public version of Eclipse 4diac at the 2007 IEEE Conference on Industrial Informatics in Vienna. Our baby made major steps in its early life, now just passing grade school and already helping a lot of people out there.

Cheers,
The 4diac Team


The European network MIDIH Supports Your Experiments with Eclipse 4diac
2019-07-16 Age: 98 days

We would like to draw your attention to a funding opportunity for experiments around Eclipse 4diac.

The European network MIDIH supports selected application and technology experiments around Big Data with a reference architecture based on a stack of proven technologies (including Eclipse 4diac) with up to 60 000 € funding. Individual applicants can - once again - submit applications until 06.08. Topics can, for example be, additive manufacturing, inter- and intralogistics, modelling/simulation, VR/AR and AI/ML.

Further information is available at https://midih.eu/opencall_2.php

Cheers,
The 4diac Team


GSoC Project - First Phase Finished
2019-06-29 news image Age: 115 days

Here is a new update on my GSoC project. We have now finished the first phase and i already started to fix the first bugs. Deploying FBs with very basic functionality should now work again from the development branch. The next step is to find the causes, why certain functionality is not working properly. Therefore, i created a new list of bugs as roadmap we are going to do. You can find more detailed information in the eclipse wiki

Cheers,
Jan


Arrowhead Framework support in 4diac
2019-06-12 Age: 132 days

Our powered by 4diac traffic light demonstrator reached Gothenburg to take part in the workshop of the Productive 4.0 project. The 4diac application can now communicate with the Arrowhead Framework over HTTP REST and/or OPC UA.

The documentation about how to use this amazing library in 4diac can be found here. You can easily register your own services and look for orchestration rules for your devices.

Cheers,
The 4diac Team


Status Update: Dynamic Type Loading GSoC Project
2019-06-11 news image Age: 133 days

My first two weeks of GSoC are now over and i have my first results to share with you. If there are any questions, as always, feel free to ask over Mattermost or the mailing list.

I just finished the first test phase of the dynamic type loader. To summarize, simple Basic FBs can already deployed without any troubles, e.g., calculations, FOR loops and Conditions (i.e., IF, CASE). In addition, all types of ECCs i found and internal variables also work. Datatypes seem to be working too, except Time Types. There is an open bug for this already. For functions, there is an open bug too.

I newly discovered, that some of the simple Structured Text functionality is still not supported, like WHILE/REPEAT loops or standard functions.

Cheers,
Jan Holzweber


4diac Logo Facelift
2019-05-31 news image Age: 144 days

Over the last months we where working to give the 4diac logo and icons a new more polished look. This has come to an end and we are happy to present the new logo and icon suite:

I hope you like the new logos. With this post we already updated the 4diac web-page to the new design.

Cheers,
The 4diac Team


This Year's Google Summer of Code Project
2019-05-09 Age: 166 days

It is a great pleasure for me that this year we got a student project sponsored in the Google Summer of Code. Jan Holzweber will work on our Lua-based dynamic code loading infrastructure and turn it from experimental prototype into a usable stable feature.

Please give Jan a warm welcome and your support.

I’m looking forward to work as mentor with him.

Cheers,
Alois


4diac 1.10.2: Second Maintenance Release for 4diac 1.10
2019-04-14 news image Age: 191 days

We are proud to announce the second maintenance release for Eclipse 4diac 1.10 providing 11 bug fixes for 4diac IDE, and 6 for 4diac FORTE.

As always please download, test, and report problems and bugs. For 1.9.x and 1.10.x users a simple Help -> Check of Updates should upgrade you to 1.10.2.

Cheers,
The 4diac Team


4diac @ Inspire Automation Camp
2019-03-09 Age: 227 days

fortiss showed two 4diac-based demonstrators at the Inspire Automation Camp from 25th to 27th February organized by Festo in Esslingen.

A Pick-and-Place module demonstrates the skill-based approach for an automation system using OPC UA. The module consists of a vertical axis, a horizontal axis, a gripper and a conveyor belt that are controlled by a Festo CECC-D, an emBrick, a Kunbus RevolutionPi and an INSYS MRX3 respectively. This engineering approach hides the implementation complexity on the target system by providing a standardized interface to the process via skills. The gripper, for example, is controlled by a skill gripper that can be called via OPC UA.

The second demonstrator shows 4diac's TSN capabilities by sending two streams, a prioritized TSN stream and a non-prioritized best-effort stream, between two Beaglebone Black devices via 3 TTTech Akro 6/0 TSN switches. All devices have a common time base, which is achieved by the Precision Time Protocol (IEEE1588 - PTP). The prioritized stream is synchronized to a specific sending time point. The demonstrator shows on the one hand how 4diac uses the deterministic features of TSN, which means that the transmission of packets can be guaranteed and on the other hand that synchronizing the application and network schedule reduces latency and jitter of the transmitted packets.

TSN demonstrator OPC UA demonstrator
Demonstrators at the Inspire Automation Camp, left TSN demonstrator, right OPC UA demonstrator

Cheers,
The 4diac Team


We Want You to Participate in Google Summer of Code
2019-02-28 Age: 236 days

You are a student currently working or planning to work with 4diac and looking for a summer project? We have something for you! 4diac is participating in Google Summer of Code 2019. This means that Google may sponsors your project with 4diac.

We got you interested? Then please consider the following points:

Looking forward working together with you!

Cheers,
The 4diac Team


See 4diac live at Embedded World Trade Fair
2019-02-27 Age: 237 days

DH electronics presents at the Embedded World trade fair their new "Multiprotocoll IoT Edge Computer with voice-controlled PLC and Cloud connection" product. This product features Eclipse 4diac as PLC environment. See it live in hall 2 booth 100!

Cheers,
The 4diac Team


European Project FED4SAE Sponsors Projects Utilizing 4diac
2019-01-22 news image Age: 273 days

The European Innovation project FED4SAE is currently eliciting proposals for innovative industrial application development projects in the domain of Cyber-Physical Systems and Embedded Systems. FED4SAE is looking for companies that want to:

To do this, FED4SAE offers companies:

Companies are encouraged to contact any of the FED4SAE project partners for guidance and feedback on their initial project ideas.

The call is open until March 5th, 2019. More information can be found online here.


Eclipse Insight: cross domain engineering
2019-01-21 Age: 274 days

On February the 6th fortiss GmbH in Munich hosts an Eclipse Insight event about "cross domain engineering". The addressed domains are industrial automation, internet of things and embedded systems. There will be interesting talks and demonstrations related to Eclipse 4diac, Eclipse BaSyx, AutoFOCUS3 (provides the base for Eclipse SystemFOCUS), Eclipse Hono, Eclipse Kura and Eclipse Kapua. Detailed agenda and registration on eventbrite.

We are pleased to see you there!

Cheers,
The 4diac Team


Improving 4diac Deployment
2019-01-06 Age: 289 days

In our currently running usability survey a hotspot for disappointment is showing up, namely the application deployment. Interestingly we started on this already in the last release. With 4diac 1.10. the following improvements are available:

We hope that this makes deploying a less painful experience in 4diac IDE.

Outlook

However we know that this is only a first step. More work is needed to fully get rid of the deployment perspective as a whole.

Furthermore there is a major disturbing step in deployment that we haven’t talked about yet: FB type management. Every time you change an FB or create a new one, C++ code for the FB has to be created and 4diac FORTE needs to be recompiled.

In order to overcome this issue we added as experimental feature a dynamic type load option. Here 4diac IDE detects during deployment the availability of FB types and for missing types code is automatically generated and sent to 4diac FORTE. To enable this feature you need to compile 4diac FORTE with LUA enabled and change in the system configuration of your application the device profile to dynamic type load.

However bear in mind that this feature is still experimental. Nonetheless we need testers for it. So we are heavily looking for your feedback on it!

Your feedback really always helps and there are several ways to provide it:

Thanks in advance for your support,
The 4diac Team