documentation standards / tools for HMI and PLC code


Thread Starter


I need to propose a way to improve the documentation related to our HMI and PLC code. I need a method to link the HMI screen, script and ladder logic so that when something is not working, the user can easily find and understand why. Also, this would be used to document our designs. Are there commercial tools that work with
WonderWare, GE Fanuc VersaPro and RSLogix.


James Ingraham

<sarcasm> Why, there's no need to document PLC or HMI code. It is all self-documenting and easily understood by anyone with a junior high education. There is absolutely no reason in the world that PLC manufacturers should use new
concepts from the realm of computer science; the basic idea has held for 30 years, and anyone suggesting change clearly needs re-education. </sarcasm>

Seriously, I know of absolutely no method for documenting anything in HMI programs. It's hard enough just to get a printout of everything.

As for ladder... It's not like there's an equivalent to UML or JavaDoc or anything else. It really is designed to be self-documenting, presuming people put in reasonable comments.

I would be thrilled if someone show's me I'm wrong on this.

-James Ingraham
Sage Automation, Inc.

James Fountas

I would tend to agree with the last person. Doing documentation after the fact is very hard. The trick is to build it and document it as you go. This is something most people won't pay for, except for my first project.

My PLC and HMI documentation start with the preliminary hardware drawings, long before any code ever gets written. My PLC code is written in the same order and format as the spec. I write the spec. before the code and keep updating during the whole process.

After the fact, it is usually a long painfull task.

Good luck.

James Fountas
[email protected]