Dear existing & future PLC software developers, I have published part 13 of my free PLC programming using TwinCAT 3 tutorial.

Proper version control is traditionally not done in the world of automation, which is a big shame. The question should not be whether version control should be used or not. The question should instead be what version control system should be used. In this part we will get an introduction to version control in general, and Git in particular. We will start with an introduction to some basic concepts of version control and then show you how you can put your automation projects under version control using Git, using free and open-source tools that are traditionally used in the software industry. You’ll learn how to do proper 100% free and Git-based version control using TwinCAT 3! Let’s start demanding more from our automation vendors and demand that the tooling for version control should be included by default, and get out of the dark ages!

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A dirty keyboard is a little bit like dirty underwear. It works, but it doesn’t feel right.

The keyboard is my preferred way to communicate with the world. It’s one of these tools that we use so often that it’s taken for granted. I’m quite picky with keyboards & keycaps, and over the years many have come and gone. A few have stayed. I’ve more or less set on four sets that are my primary work horses, and I rotate between them from week to week. Working at the computer every day makes the keyboard a little gross. I have a tiny ritual where I carefully clean my keyboards, so that they feel nice & fresh. I’d thought I’d share the complete cleaning process of one of my keyboards through a YouTube-video.

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I’ve been using TwinCAT 3 more or less since it was released, and since then it has become such an integrated part of my daily work that it’s my main software development platform. I like to develop software using TwinCAT 3, but I’ve come to the conclusion that there are some features I miss. I’m not the only person that uses TwinCAT 3, and this video is made in collaboration with someone that has vastly more experience in industrial automation than me – Peter Kurhajec. As we both work with TwinCAT 3 on a daily basis, we decided to do a video with the title “4 things we want in TwinCAT 4”. Consider this as a wish list for a future version of TwinCAT, so some kind of dream session.

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Dear existing & future PLC software developers, I have published part 12 of my free PLC programming using TwinCAT 3 tutorial.

When installing the TwinCAT development environment and runtime you get access the core functionality, but sometimes you might want to extend this with additional functionality as for example adding an SQL database connection. In this chapter we will investigate some TwinCAT functions that can be added.

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I wanted to share with you a tiny celebration and some frequently asked questions, as I’ve recently reached 5000 subscribers on my YouTube channel. I didn’t even know whether there was 5000 people that work with TwinCAT 3 on planet Earth, let alone that would be interested in a TwinCAT 3 related YouTube channel!

 

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My main software development machine is getting really old and tired so I decided to build a new one. When I was younger it was a lot of fun to build computers, but now that I’m old, boring and grey I haven’t had the time nor the motivation to build a computer but rather just buy one that’s pre-built. This time I have decided I will go back to my roots and build the computer myself. Join me on the journey of building a new software development machine!

 

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Dear existing & future PLC software developers, I have published part 11 of my free PLC programming using TwinCAT 3 tutorial.

When you start to develop PLC software and you’ve worked for a few projects, you will come to a point where you will notice that certain parts of the software, like function blocks, will be copied between the projects. You’ll either do it by simple rewriting the same functions or function blocks again, or you will simply copy and paste it from one project to another. Also, once a project gets big enough, you will want to utilize something called libraries. With this we can achieve code re-use.

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If you want to write TwinCAT 3 software and run it, it’s not obvious how to get TwinCAT 3 to run on your desktop machine, be it directly on the machine or inside a virtual machine. The primary reason for this is because TwinCAT 3 is running in something called kernel space. While I was bored recently on a late afternoon, I discovered that Beckhoff had quietly added some files in the TwinCAT 3 folder in one of the newer releases of TwinCAT 3, that might change all of this.

How you may wonder? Let’s find out!

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Dear existing & future PLC software developers, I have published part 10 of my free PLC programming using TwinCAT 3 tutorial.

When designing and building a control system you will eventually want the control system to actuate something, be it a relay, a motor, a pneumatic system or maybe a complete 6-axis robot. To get feedback of the actuation, sensors are needed. In this part we will cover how we communicate with the environment using inputs and outputs.

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Dear developers,

this year there have been a lot of changes, and I guess the end of the year is a time for reflection. This year I have (once again) moved from Sweden to Germany for new opportunities. Every opportunity usually brings its challenges. Moving abroad is always a challenge, and I wouldn’t be honest if I didn’t say that I miss Sweden every day. This blog and my YouTube channel have been one way for me to think of something else than home.

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