Eclipse 4diac Logo design once use everywhere Open Source PLC Framework for
Industrial Automation & Control
Google Summer of Code 2022
2022-06-10 news image Age: 15 days

As in every year, Eclipse 4diac participated in the Google Summer of Code to extend our community.

Paul will work this summer on 4diac IDE in the context of testing Function Blocks (semi-)automatically. This is a part of our ambitions to make developing Function Blocks in 4diac IDE easier for you.

Paul is a physics student with additional interest in computer science. With this project, he hopes to gain practical experience in Java and learn working on large-scale projects with collaborative development.

In this summer, he will gain first experience in contributing to an open source project. We are always happy to introduce new contributors to our processes! Our committers Bianca and Alois serve as mentors for the project.

We will post updates over the summer!

The 4diac Team

4diac 2.0.1: First Maintenance Release for 4diac 2.0
2021-12-29 news image Age: 178 days

We are happy to announce the first maintenance release for Eclipse 4diac 2.0 providing 29 bug fixes for 4diac IDE as well as 2 bug fixes for 4diac FORTE. This include fixes for monitoring subapp interfaces and in the 4diac FORTE C++ code generation. A full list of all fixed issues can be found here.

As always please download, test, and report problems and bugs. For users of the previouse releases a simple Help -> Check of Updates should upgrade you to 2.0.1.

The 4diac Team

Use of Eclipse 4diac at HIT Robot Group
2021-10-22 news image Age: 246 days

Today we have something new in our news section an interview with one of our latest users Tibalt Zhao from HIT Robot Group.

Alois: Who are you? Tibalt Zhao R&D team lead at HIITTECH
Tibalt: We are the R&D team of HIITTECH (哈工智云) which is incubated from HIT robot group. Our company is dedicated in delivering software solution for advanced process control. Currently, we are focusing on cement industry and circulate fluid bed (a kind of boiler). I am the team leader. The team comprises of software engineers and service engineers.
Alois: How did you learn about IEC 61499 and the Eclipse 4diac project?
Tibalt: We are a team experienced both in terminal units and SCADA systems applied in the electricity grid. We have our own flow (graphical) programming platform to develop control logic in terminal units. The platform is a key to ensure quality for requirements different from batch to batch of hardware delivery. We are following the status of IEC 61131 and IEC 61499 as they are the standard for industrial control languages. Eclipse 4diac is one of the most popular open-source project for IEC 61499. And at the beginning of our project, our colleagues recommended Eclipse 4diac to us. And after looked into the docs and codes, we decided to adopt 4diac as our control platform.
Alois: You have contributed many bug fixes and enhancements to the 4diac project. So, what's your team's goal?
Tibalt: When I am designing the architecture, I read from you and James Christensen that IEC 61499 is a standard for software reuse in embedded, distributed control systems. This is what we are looking for, the philosophy, standard, graphical programming, and the open-source project.
We are feeding back with code for bug fix, enhancements, and suggestions to the 4diac project as we respect EPL license. We believe that the community's prosperity could benefit all who are working with 4diac and IEC 61499. Our business value is in FBs we are encapsulated and total solution we delivered to our customer with HMI and big data database.
Alois: What do you like most on 4diac?
Tibalt: First, the tiny footprints of the run time environment. Second, the architecture taking care of hard real time application. And the RTE which could run cross platform including Linux, windows, freeRTOS and so on.
Alois: What in 4diac is disturbing your work most?
Tibalt: The way to composite function block is a little bit disturbing as we have done lots of CFBs. We hope to see the subapplication type soon. I heard that in 2.0.0 release, we can have subapplication type.
Alois: Yes we are working hard to make subapplication support better. But what is exactly the problem of CFBs if I may ask?
Tibalt: First, every time we make a CFB, we need to generate cpp codes from IDE and compile them with source code of 4diac FORTE before it can be tested. You know, the process can be done for several times to get the CFB ready to release even by an experienced engineer. And even a tiny new requirement, for example change the pin name or add an output pin to give more details of failure execution, we have to repeat the compilation process. Secondly, IDE cannot "watch" in the second tier of function block network, which means if there is a CFB embedded inside another CFB, it is almost impossible to debug. Engineers need a good way to encapsulate the FBs as we all know that a very big FBN is too complex to maintain. We can make the basic blocks in IDE is a good start. But please make the process simple that the service engineer could build the blocks by themselves within IDE.
Alois: Can you describe/show something about your first 4diac application?
Tibalt: Sure. Our application is the advanced process control for a mill.
function block network of the advanced process control
Function block network of the advanced process control.
The mill consumes around 192,000 KWh electricity per day to spit out around 9600 tons of crushed raw materials 88% of which is smaller than 80 micrometer. Before the installation of our software, the mill is operated by 3 operators per day. During working hours, they must focus on the conditions of the mill and taking care of the feeding speed of raw materials and water, roller pressure, fan speed, separator speed, and so on. After the installation of our solution, their workload is greatly reduced, and the condition of the raw mill is much more stable. Below are numbers compared between controlled by operator alone and operator with APC solution.
The comparison of critical parameters.
The comparison of electricity consumption.
The comparison of the average production per hour.
Alois: Wow this is pretty impressive. Thanks a lot for your insights.

Eclipse 4diac 2.0.0
2021-10-14 news image Age: 254 days

Have you been waiting for 4diac 2.0.0? It's finally here!

We've been working on improving your experience with Eclipse 4diac. For 4diac IDE, the following major changes were introduced:

For 4diac FORTE, we have mostly provided bug fixes and stabilization patches:

For details, please consider the release page of our New and Noteworthy.

We sincerely hope that you enjoy our graduation release. We are looking foward to sharing more documentation on the new features in the upcoming weeks.

The 4diac Team

Eclipse 4diac Project Graduation
2021-10-06 news image Age: 262 days

We are happy to announce that the Eclipse 4diac passed the graduation review today. This is a major step for the project and its community. We could show that we are working as open source project following the Eclipse development process. It also means that we are leaving the incubation phase.

Thanks to the great 4diac community for making this possible.

The 4diac Team

4diac 2.0.0 Release Feature Freeze Phase
2021-09-06 news image Age: 292 days

As every year, the beginning of September starts the feature freeze phase for the 4diac autumn release. We have many new features and bug fixes in this release:

More details will follow in the next weeks as separate news items.

We provide a nightly build update site which allows you to automatically update your 4diac IDE. Just add
to your update sites.

The 4diac Team

4diac IDE Icon Update
2021-06-21 news image Age: 369 days

The last few months we've been working hard on redesigning the icons of the 4diac IDE.

As this is the first major revisit of the existing icons, we had to change a lot. Major motivations for the redesign were to increase readability and consistency throughout the icons.

Icons Done

This is the list of icons already redesigned.

Function Blocks





All these icons are Work in Progress, they may be subject to change.

The 4diac Team

4diac 1.14.0 Released!
2021-05-03 news image Age: 418 days

We are very proud to announce the Eclipse 4diac 1.14.0 release!

With Eclipse 4diac 1.14.0 we provide you with a large set of improvements in 4diac IDE and 4diac FORTE:

All in all we could address 150 issues in the work for the new Eclipse 4diac version. A full list of all bugs addressed in this release can be found on the 1.14.0 release page.

As always please download, test, and report any issues. For users of the previous releases a simple Help -> Check of Updates should upgrade you to 1.14.0.

The 4diac Team

PS: With Eclipse 4diac 1.14.0 the 4diac IDE requires at least Java 11 installed on your machine! If you download the official 4diac IDE package a correct Java version is already included. Many thanks to the Eclipse JustJ project for that support.

PPS: Windows 10 users: Windows 10 Defender significantly slows down Eclipse and therfore also 4diac IDE. The reason is Windows 10 Defender scanning the JAR files. The problem has been reported to Microsoft here. Until then, a workaround to this problem is to add 4diac IDE root directory to Windows 10 Defender's exclusion list, detailed steps are shared here.

Note: This is not just an Eclipse 4diac issue on Windows 10.

On Our Way to 4diac 1.14.0!
2021-04-26 news image Age: 425 days

Your patience is paying of. In the last weeks we could fix a few major issues in 4diac IDE. One clearly visible example you can see below. Thanks to Bianca's detective skills we where finally able to fix the cut of texts when zooming in or out of our graphical editors.

The 4diac Team

Before and after the new scaling code
Postponing the 4diac 1.14.0 Release!
2021-04-13 news image Age: 438 days

In the last two weeks we noticed a few major issues in the release version of 4diac IDE. As we want to further investigate this we have to decided to further postpone the 4diac 1.14.0 release to May 3rd.

We are sorry for the inconvenience. 4diac 1.14.0 will have an amazing list of new features. So it is definitly worth the waiting.

The 4diac Team

4diac 1.13.1: First Maintenance Release for 4diac 1.13
2021-01-21 news image Age: 520 days

We are proud to announce the first maintenance release for Eclipse 4diac 1.13 providing 12 bug fixes for 4diac IDE. This include fixes for the virtualDNS handling, corner cases in the new selection feedback and in the 4diac FORTE code exporter. A full list of all fixed issues can be found here.

As always please download, test, and report problems and bugs. For users of the previouse releases a simple Help -> Check of Updates should upgrade you to 1.13.1.

The 4diac Team