The TwinCAT 3 eXtended Automation Engineering Environment (XAE) is based on the widely used Microsoft® Visual Studio platform. TwinCAT 3 adds support for the IEC 61131-3 programming standard into the development environment. TwinCAT System Manager, the configuration tool for connectivity to ERP and peripheral devices such as I/O and Motion, is integrated into the same development environment. This approach allows the integration of additional programming languages or tools, such as MATLAB®, Simulink, and C/C++. A debugger with online monitoring functionality extends beyond the normal debugging functions of C/C++.
The eXtended Automation Runtime (XAR) processes all modules written in IEC 61131, C/C++, MATLAB, and Simulink in real time. The proven TwinCAT real-time extension process tasks and calls modules with a minimum cycle time of 50 μs and a very small amount of jitter. TwinCAT real time has also been extended with the ability to distribute certain tasks to different cores of a multicore CPU and supports 64-bit operating systems, enhancing PC controller performance even further.
The TC3 Target for MATLAB/Simulink extends the workflow based on Simulink Coder™ by providing TwinCAT specific system target files to be able to build TcCOM (TwinCAT Common Object Model) objects. Hence, users can design their control algorithms or simulation models in Simulink and use Simulink Coder to generate compiled objects. Colleagues can use these modules and instantiate them in their specific TwinCAT 3 solution, whereas debugging, parameter tuning, and online monitoring can be done via the TC BlockDiagram.