Enable Co-Simulation for Industrial Automation by an FMU Exporter for IEC 61499 Models

Jose Cabral, Monika Wenger und Alois Zoitl

IEEE 16th International Conference of Industrial Informatics (INDIN),



Different causes have contributed to the shift of paradigm in the automation field from centralized to modular and distributable. Software and hardware of Programmable Logic Controllers (PLCs) have evolved to be synchronized with the demands nowadays and new standards are trying to follow this trend. One of them is the IEC 61499 standard, which is intended for modelling distributed industrial solutions with a vendor-independent format. This shifting is also bringing new challenges and this paper focuses on the virtual commissioning of plants, which can become a harder task when the system is distributed and involves different interconnected modules. A major problem when doing a virtual commissioning is the coupling between the different physical systems and controlling tools since many vendors still offer closed integrated solutions. Functional Mockup Interface (FMI) is a standard for a cosimulation interface which intends to fill the gaps between different modelling tools, by packaging the models into Functional Mockup Unit (FMU) and allowing a co-simulation master algorithm to have access to the inside model through the proposed interface. This paper presents a mapping between IEC 61499 models and the FMI standard and an implementation of a tool that can export IEC 61499 models into FMUs, which would allow the co-simulation of physical plants and the PLCs software that controls it. An experiment is shown where a simple ProportionalIntegral-Derivative (PID) controller of a tank system is exported as an FMU and co-simulated together with a tank system modelled using OpenModelica.