Programmable logic controller (PLC) has been successfully used in industry over thirty years. Its typical application covers a broad range of discrete event control from simple I/O logic control and sequence control to complex manufacturing flow control. The traditional PLC application design heavily depends on the designer’s experience, thus design result is difficult to predict before a real system is built. A test bench equivalent to the real system is always needed, however, this heavily increases the design cost. In addition, it is difficult to modify and debug an existing system when the original specification changes. Model-driven design method introduces a new concept. First build a system model before any programming implementation starts. Then, verify and validate the model to ensure its behavior is the same as what the original specification requires. Finally, two solutions are provided: either a direct mapping from the model to program that will run on an existing PLC, or a complex conversion from the PLC program to FPGA-based hardware implementation. In this paper, the complete design flow of the proposed method is introduced, while two PLC implementation solutions have been discussed. A case study is further presented to explain the proposed method.

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