Accepted Paper for ICALEPCS 2017: PLC Factory: Automating routine tasks in large-scale PLC software development

My paper on the application PLC Factory, of which I wrote at the European Spallation Source in Lund, Sweden, in 2016, got accepted to ICALEPCS 2017. This year’s ICALEPCS conference will take place in Barcelona, Spain, from 8 October to 13 October 2017. The abstract is below. The final revision of the paper is available on my Gitlab repository.


G. Ulm, F. Bellorini, D. Brodrick, R. Fernandes, N. Levchenko, D. Piso Fernandez

At the European Spallation Source in Lund, Sweden, the entire facility including all its instruments will be controlled by a large number of programmable logic controllers (PLCs). Programming PLCs, however, entails a significant amount of repetition. It is thus an error-prone and time-consuming task. Given that PLCs interface with hardware, this involves economic aspects as well, due to the fact that programming errors may cause damage to equipment. With PLC Factory, we managed to automate repetitive tasks associated with PLC programming and interfacing PLCs from EPICS. This tool is being adopted at ESS, and has shown potential for a large increase in productivity compared to the status quo. We describe PLC Factory as well as its embedded domain-specific programming language PLCF#, which it is built upon.

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