Some sources of free PLC programming software


Thread Starter


Hi All,

Based on the previous thread lamenting the lack of free development software that ran for 7 years, an in the great tradition of open source computing; e.g. Kinect SDK for Windows, and Google's Android SDKs and LINUX. I've found some PLC vendors from China, but with offices across the americas, europe and australia, that offer their development software for free!

They say you only get what you pay for and since I'm paying nothing and getting 98% of the capability of an AB product, I'll sign on!

They are Delta Electronics Inc, also found Xinje PLCs. I found these at the Australian Vendor: Ocean Controls, which has the software available for download.

Has anyone had any experiences implementing these products?

One PLC I found recently is Fatek from Taiwan. WinProLadder software is free and downloaded from their website.

It seems to be fine.

We are adding its native protocol, Facon, to our HMI.


If it’s the same Delta whose PLC’s were being sold as Cutler-Hammer and programmed with ELCSoft, I used them and wished I never had. It was the WORST PLC code editor ever inflicted on the market, with the PLC ranked somewhere similar. I wouldn’t use that stuff to line the bottom of a bird cage.

It was marketed as running SFC (Sequential Function Chart). I happen to like SFC for certain types of machines, and here it is in a low-cost PLC, so I thought “Great!”. It wasn’t great.

Ask a support question and get referred to C-H support because the distributor didn’t know anything about anything. Get nowhere with C-H, because despite marketing it as an SFC PLC, they never bothered to learn how to actually USE the SFC, so they had no clue. They actually told me they never took the time to learn the SFC. In so many words. Unbelievable. Then wait overnight for an answer because the mfgr is in Asia and you have the inevitable delay imposed by time zones.

Then, the editor has three modes, SFC, ladder, and IL, switchable. Cool, and not an uncommon approach; many PLC’s will let you switch between ladder and mnemonics, for example. The only problem here was that they WEREN’T VIEWS OF THE SAME CODE!! You had to do an extra step to propagate changes made in one mode to the other modes, and ladder and SFC changes wouldn’t propagate except back and forth to IL! So if you made a ladder change, you had to do this step, which would propagate them to IL, then go to IL and do the conversion and they’d propagate to SFC. Same thing in reverse to get from SFC to ladder. So they had a system where the three modes aren’t inherently synchronized so then you have to manually convert, which is bad enough, but then only one view (IL) was universally convertible, which is worse, THEN they had to pick as that universal mode, the mode no sane person would use at all were it not for that factor. D’oh!

I also found a conversion error when you ran the temperature input modules in F. Worked fine with 0.1 degree resolution in C, but rounded the C value to the nearest 0.5C before converting to F, despite claiming 0.1F resolution. C-H didn’t know it, even Delta didn’t know it till I brought it up. (Obviously this was more of a firmware problem than a software issue) Delta said “We’ll fix it in the next release.” Thanks. I ran the modules in C and did the conversion in ladder (managed to get it right the first time too – woo hoo!)

And that’s just the issues I can remember, this was 4 or 5 years ago. I just remember that at every turn, there was some obstacle due either to poor usability design or a bug. I very clearly got the impression that they just shipped the thing as soon as it appeared to sort of work and not burst into flame upon every application of power, and then picked as a distributor a company who didn’t bother to learn how (if at all) some of the features worked, the very same features they found potentially so appealing that they advertised them! Most of the things I was complaining about or asking for help with were pretty evident without using the software for long periods of time.

Now that I’ve thoroughly trashed Delta, or more correctly, now that I’ve shamelessly reported Delta’s trashing of Delta, I WILL recommend LG, also known as LSIS ( It’s a Korean company (the same LG that sells consumer products) and they offer a full line of automation and power products, all the way up to medium voltage drives and electrical transmission gear I believe.

Also free, their PLC software is VASTLY superior to Delta’s. I would say it’s competitive with the paid PLC programming packages I use, somewhere at or above the middle of the pack, feature and quality wise. The only problem is that there aren’t a whole lot of distributors in the US (although this may be no better with Delta – the distributors I saw that had them before, have abandoned them -- good riddance I say).

So yes, I guess technically you’d have to say Delta is a better value than AB, since you get 0.098% (NOT 98%) of the features, quality, and tech support at 0% of the cost, but that’s not enough for me. I’ll never buy another one. WOW! Just wow. I just did a search and see that they’re now trying to SELL the software for about $250. It was too expensive when it was FREE. I hope my natural shyness and reticence hasn’t stopped me from effectively communicating how I feel about Delta PLC’s and programming software. Dude, you’re getting an LG!
i use delta plcs more than 8 years from now i use it in Dangerous matters (passengers elevators, huge steam boilers with heavy oil burners) and you are saying you are not going to use it for a bird cage. when did you use the sfc? tell me when it had been released you say five years ago. i ask every one who reads this to check out to see the truth. for your information delta plc is much more better than a well known plcs brand names very well know in the market. about the support i personally seek their support sooo sooo many times and i receive the support. i live in israel the support is online or by phone 24hours a day. if you want to talk about delta plcs you might say one of the best plcs the human has ever known.
And yet, the stuff that happened to me still happened.

I would suspect that they had got better since I used the product (which I did say was 4-5 years ago) but you say you've been using the product for 8 years now.

I'm truly happy you've found a product that will meet your needs, and I say so with no sarcasm whatsoever. Based on our vastly differing experiences, I suspect that several of the following things, and perhaps all, are true:

1) You don't use SFC.

2) You don't use temperature modules in Fahrenheit.

3) You don't expect the level of performance, common sense, and dedication to business norms whose absence frustrates and angers me.

4) You haven't had much experience with good PLC's from real, good companies.

5) Delta has a better, more mature distribution network in Israel than in the US. We certainly didn't get 24/7 support here. We didn't even get support EVERY WEEKDAY DURING EAST COAST BUSINESS HOURS. There was one guy at Cutler Hammer to talk to and he wasn't there or available every single day, and couldn't support all the features of the product even when he was. Far cry from 24/7 support, especially for a product that needs it so badly.