With the software tool PLC link, the Spanish wind turbine manufacturer, Gamesa, was able to reduce five months of manual programming to just 20 minutes of automatic code generation. ‘The project was very successful. PLC link produced very clear benefits for us’, Rafa Hernández, g10X-4 .5 MW Chief Engineer, reports.
PLC link translates Simulink models and Stateflow charts into PLC code. Gamesa used PLC link to generate up to 40% of their entire G10X turbine PLC code in just 20 minutes – a task that would normally have required up to five months of manual programming.
Gamesa saved additional time using PLC link for subsequent modifications of the control design instead of adapting the code manually. Rafa Hernández is delighted with the time savings: ‘PLC link saved us a lot of time during the process of modifying and verifying the code. Waiting for programmers to do it would have delayed us by another 2-3 months’.
Translating Control Design From Simulink to PLC code
Gamesa’s project of implementing a new Simulink-based control design featuring more than 5,000 blocks and 400 subsystems with different sample rates involved the following challenges:
- Reduction of time-to-PLC
- Verification of running PLC code
- Tuning of running PLC code, i.e. swift prototype adjustments
Having completed the project, Rafa comment on his impression of the PLC link software tool:
– PLC link has shown a high level of robustness, reliability and operability. Programming has gone from being a ‘showstopper’ to a ‘time-saver’.
As a result, we expect to extend the use of this tool to all other products in our portfolio.
In the control specifications, Gamesa uses Simulink blocks. In the past, Gamesa used to implement PLC code manually according to the design in the Simulink model. However, for their recent G10X wind turbine platform, it was decided to use DEIF’s PLC link for automatic code generation, acknowledging that it would save both time and money.
It was also important to Gamesa that PLC link provided a solid platform for last minute changes and adaptation of their control specifications. More importantly, however, Gamesa wanted a much better and easier verification process.