Open interface for automatic code generation
By Mary Del
Aug. 11, 2014 – The new Automation Interface in TwinCAT 3 automation software from Beckhoff enables remote control of TwinCAT engineering systems and the automatic generation of programs and configurations. Depending on the degree of automation, manual processing of control projects and the associated errors can be reduced or eliminated. The quality of the software engineering is increased, while programming time and costs are reduced by the automation of project generation, the company says. Enabling remote access and control is another key area where the TwinCAT Automation Interface increases efficiency — it provides the user with a programming interface that can be used for remote control of the TwinCAT system. This enables the external control of almost all offline and online functions. The error-prone and (in terms of personnel) cost-intensive generation of I/O configurations and programs can be simplified in this way, the company says. The Automation Interface consists of a large number of programming routines that are available to the user within the Automation Interface API in the form of classes and methods. These enable TwinCAT projects to be generated, changed and saved in a standard and flexible manner — in conjunction with a source code database such as Team Foundation Server, if desired. The resulting application possibilities are extremely varied and can range from a simple application for automating common and recurring TwinCAT tasks up to complex, user-defined engineering tools that only use the regular TwinCAT development environment in the background.