ABB AC800M, Control Builder or Function Designer?


Thread Starter


Hi All,

Anyone could help me to understand pros and cons between Control Builder and Function Designer development tools for AC800M controller on 800xa ver. 5.1. The plant to be automated is a waste incinerator plant with about 170 I/Os.

Thanks a lot
Control Builder M with

You'll still be able to program using Structured text, Function blocks, or Control modules. Diagrams is an "enhancement" to the older function block language.

The real pain-in-the-butt with Control Builder, though, is the fact that you can't bulk generate diagrams based on a diagram-type. For example, let's say you create a typical PID loop for flow complete with AI/PID/AO. There hasn't been as easy way (that I've found) that will generate 10 flow loops using that PID loop as a template. (If you're familiar with older Foxboro - FoxCAE - you could translate a taglist into loop templates very easily.)

The other "got ya" with Control Builder M is the custom libraries that you might consider buying to get you up and running. For example, a custom library might include a library block based on MotorUni (a block in the default library) that includes additional features. The standard library would only have the MotorUni block.

One other thing, there's a bit of 800xA work that needs to be completed regarding Aspects for custom library "objects". That will take some man-hours to sort out.

Function Designer is a graphical control application engineering tool designed for process engineers. It is intended for engineers desiring a functional approach of the control logic in line with the process graphics and all other aspects of a certain process section. It does not require software programming expertise and is intuitive to engineers in the plant design as well as in the maintenance phase.

Control Builder is a powerful tool for creating control and safety solutions including reusable control libraries for the AC 800M controller. It is also used for the hardware configuration. Everything is done in a Windows-based environment, offering a wide range of control functionality for ABB's industrial controller AC 800M. It supports all five programming "languages" according to IEC 61131-3.

Read more about System 800xA Engineering here:

You may also post any questions in our ABB Control Systems technical Forum (AKS):

BR Matthias