What is GRAFCET Studio?

Logo von GRAFCET Studio

GRAFCET Studio is a Windows application which can be used to create/design a GRAFCET flow chart according to DIN EN 60848. This may then be simulated on a PC.

In addition, the GRAFCET which has been created may then be transferred to a device (i.e. a Programmable Logic Controller) at the touch of a button.

 

The GRAFCET flow chart therefore becomes a cross-platform GRAFCET programming language through GRAFCET Studio. 

 

GRAFCET Studio = GRAFCET Editor + GRAFCET Simulator + GRAFCET programming software

The basis for GRAFCET Studio

GRAFCET Studio is a new Windows software which may be used on Windows 7/8/10.

The basis for GRAFCET Studio is the latest Microsoft technology for desktop programs: Windows Presentation Foundation (WPF). Because it uses WPF technology, GRAFCET Studio is high-performance and the user interface is infinitely scalable without any loss in quality.

 

The advantages of WPF technology:

  • Best graphics performance due to use of DirectX technology
  • Vector-orientated: The GRAFCET can be continuously zoomed in on/zoomed out from without any loss in quality
  • Supports transparency effects
  • Clear display of the user interface (UI), even on high-resolution screens (4K)

What is the idea behind GRAFCET Studio?

Aufbau GRAFCET Studio
Aufbau GRAFCET Studio

GRAFCET Studio essentially consists of three components:

  1. GRAFCET Editor:
    For creating the GRAFCET
  2. GRAFCET Simulator:
    For simulating the GRAFCET on a PC.
    Device Connector:
    For transferring the GRAFCET to a connected device.

The GRAFCET is simulated using a sleek, high-performance Hybrid GRAFCET Engine. This is also be used on the external device.  


The GRAFCET Engine requires only 40 KB of memory on the target device (sum of data and program).

It is therefore possible to use the GRAFCET Engine on even the smallest SIEMENS S7-1200 (which has 50 KB RAM).

 

Upon the release of GRAFCET Studio, the following devices will be supported:

  • SIEMENS S7-1200
  • SIEMENS S7-1500
  • Arduino platform: e.g. Controllino, Industrial Shields, SIEMENS IOT2020 und IOT2040, ...

The following are also in planning: 

  • SIEMENS S7-300
  • CODESYS based control systems

When you sign up to our GRAFCET Studio Newsletter, you can specify your desired target devices/systems.

With your help we can define a priority list.

Which devices can be supported?

GRAFCET Engine is cross-platform. This means that the GRAFCET created using GRAFCET Studio can run on almost any device. 

 

Are you device manufacturers? GRAFCET Engine is currently available in SCL source code and C#, C++ source code, so that porting can occur in a few days, depending on the target device.

 

The following device requirements exist for GRAFCET Engine:

  • Sufficient memory: At least 40 KB for data and program logic.
  • Windows driver to actualise the online interface.
  • A real-time clock (RTC) or a millisecond timer.
  • Compiler for SCL, C++, C or C# 

How does it work?

SIEMENS S7-1200
SIEMENS S7-1200

GRAFCET Studio’s mode of operation is as follows, taking the example of a SIEMENS S7-1200:

 

GRAFCET Engine must firstly be installed on the S7-1200. The easiest way to do this is by using a template project:

  1. Open the S7-1200 template project
  2. Save under another (requested) name
  3. Replace the S7-1200 CPU with the S7-1200 CPU which is currently connected.
  4. Translate and transfer the project to the CPU
  5. GRAFCET Studio can now use the S7-1200: Transfer the GRAFCETs, monitor online, reload GRAFCET from the control system.

In addition to the GRAFCET logic, the user can also write other functions using the TIA PORTAL if necessary: The GRAFCET logic and PLC user program may coexist and work in conjunction with one another.

 

Please note: GRAFCET Studio does not require the TIA PORTAL to transfer the GRAFCET to the control system.  

Is the device manufacturer’s programming tool also required?

GRAFCET Studio cannot totally replace the device manufacturer’s programming tool (i.e. TIA PORTAL, Simatic Manager) as the control system must firstly be prepared for GRAFCET Studio (project template, hardware configuration).

If the control system also unexpectedly stops or if the hardware configuration must be modified, the manufacturer’s programming tool is also required.

 

However: When the GRAFCET Engine is installed on the control system, the manufacturer’s programming tool may not be used as often or may not be used at all.

GRAFCET is easy to learn!

If you don't know what GRAFCET is, you should take a closer look.

With GRAFCET you can create very fast and efficient a sequence control system.

 

With little time you can learn GRAFCET- the learning curve is very steep.

 

GRAFCET is also part of the following training occupations in Germany:

  • Mechatronics
    (German "Mechatroniker")
  • Electronics technicians for automation technology
    (German "Elektroniker für Automatisierungstechnik")
  • Electronics technicians for industrial engineering
    (German "Elektroniker für Betriebstechnik")
  • Industrial mechanics
    (German "Industriemechaniker")
  • Technical secondary school focal point metal engineering
    (German "Fachoberschule Fachrichtung Technik Schwerpunkt Metalltechnik")
  • 2-year technical school specializing in chemical engineering focal point Production Technology
    (German "2-jährige Fachschule Fachrichtung Chemietechnik Schwerpunkt Produktionstechnik")

Also in technical academic high schools (German "technische Gymnasien") GRAFCET is included in the curriculum.

 

The advantages of using GRAFCET Studio

  • Automatic creation of a PLC program based on the GRAFCET logic.
  • GRAFCET DIN EN 60848 is now not just a description language, but also a programming language.
  • Convenient GRAFCET Editor with zoom function, Copy & Paste, undo, copy using the mouse, search function and thumbnail.
  • A simulation of the GRAFCET is always included on the PC.
  • Anyone who understands GRAFCET can now program a control system.
  • Clear display and rapid creation of the controller program using GRAFCET.
  • Benefits for mechanical engineers: Give your customer a tool which they can use to modify the control program if required, without having to install the control system manufacturer’s programming tool.
  • The GRAFCET created may also be used for other devices (cross-platform). It is only the absolute addresses which have to be adjusted.
  • Low system requirements (see below)
  • Arduino-based device users may now efficiently program flow controls without having to write a line of C/C++ code.
  • GRAFCET Studio can be installed within 1 minute on your PC

Expanded simulation options

GRAFCET Studio offers connectivity options with PLC-Lab, SPS-VISU und FACTORY I/O (WinSPS-Edition or MHJ-Edition). 

In this way, the GRAFCET may be tested extensively in advance using a virtual system.

System requirements

  • Windows 7/8/8.1/10
  • >= 2 GB RAM
  • >= 1 GHz CPU, Single Core

User manual of GRAFCET-Studio

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