groov Manage: Controller

Posted by Ben Orchard on Aug 1, 2023 8:38:42 AM

Week 6 of the groov Manage video series brings you a detailed look at the control engines included with groov EPIC.

You might think we have a sleeper menu feature for this week's blog: only two buttons behind the Controller groov Manage menu option. Boring, right? Far from it! This is amazing! 

The fact that you can even choose between two control engine options is worth a pause. Learn what's possible in this week's groov Manage: Controller video.

How many PLCs have an option of what type of control code it can run? Very, very few. Most are a single software option. In fact, you're often locked into both the software development environment and runtime engine on a given hardware device. Not so with the groov EPIC.

First up, PAC Control. This flowchart-based engine has been around for 30+ years, and it’s mature and well-proven in a massive array of industries. With the free basic version, you can get started in no time. It's simple enough for non-coders to get started, but if you have any experience with structured programming languages, then you can use OptoScript. It's more than powerful enough to handle complex control scenarios. 

The Pro version adds options for those needing to migrate older PAC Control strategies to the latest version. If that's not you, then the free PAC Control Basic should be all you need.

groov EPIC will allow you to run up to 64 charts in any given strategy or control program, so don’t let the low barrier to entry deceive you—it's a very capable control engine.

PAC Control also has very comprehensive communication commands for both serial and Ethernet protocols.

Additionally, Opto 22 offers a series of toolkits to help get you up and running for a few different applications.
If you want a leg up to get started even quicker, then check out our training modules on PAC Control at our OptoU free online training site.

The other groov Manage menu button offers a very different control engine option: CODESYS. CODESYS is a fully compliant IEC 61131-3 runtime engine, and you can develop your applications for the CODESYS runtime with the (also) free CODESYS Development System V3 you install on your Windows-based workstation.

Also free is our Opto 22 Library Package for CODESYS Development System. This library includes everything you need to configure groov EPIC or groov RIO I/O into your application. CODESYS also offers an extensive library of other modules you can integrate into your application, like EtherNet/IP and the OSCAT Network Library (OSCAT Network). Some are free; others come with a nominal charge. See more in the CODESYS store.

Due to the ongoing supply chain issues, we have a substantial number of customers who use the CODESYS-on-EPIC option to, quite literally, save their business. They have been able to export their current code from a suddenly end-of-life PLC, and with only a few tweaks, be up and running on the groov EPIC.

One thing to note: while controller runtime choices like PAC Control and CODESYS are available on EPIC, you do have to make a choice. Only one of these options can be run at a time.

I suspect that the power and diversity of this somewhat disarming two-button menu might have taken a few people by surprise, and that's understandable. Very few PLCs offer the number of options and amount of processing power that the groov EPIC does.

Be sure to subscribe to this blog as we are only halfway through our tour of the groov Manage menu.
You can also see all 12 buttons in one video.

Till next week.

Cheers Mate.

Topics: PAC Control, CODESYS, groov EPIC, groov Manage, groov Manage series

Written by Ben Orchard

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