In this information platform you find the firmware documentation for some of the PLCnext Control devices. PLCnext Technology is an open industrial automation ecosystem designed by Phoenix Contact. If you're completely new to PLCnext Technology, you might find it helpful to get the gist and read about some use cases in the PLCnext Community first. 

Short introduction

Compared to the classic PLC you'll know well, the firmware of a PLCnext Control is different. Not just somewhat but completely different. To take you on board of this whole new world of opportunities, we set up the following graphic.


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Note:Click to unfold a hint 

By hovering of the above boxes you can use the above drawing as a springboard: stop at interesting items to see its tooltip, then click if you want to follow the link behind it.

With the bookmark iconbutton in the sidebar on the right you can bookmark frequently used topics. When coming back here you can retrieve your topics at the  Favorites button in the toolbar. For this feature a cookie will be placed on your device but stays strictly anonymous.

PLCnext Runtime System

The heart of the firmware is the PLCnext Runtime System whose main parts are shown in the center. It is sitting on a PLCnext-specific, real-time capable Linux® derivative which is the operating system on every PLCnext Control. From that base, you can choose  

With PLCnext Technology, you can develop in the popular IEC 61131-3 languages, with Simulink models, and even in high-level languages. Code of all sources plugs into the PLCnext Runtime System to run synchronized by means of its core components, the ESM and the GDS.

Services and interfaces

For your convenience, PLCnext Control firmware comes with a range of built-in service components prevailing in industrial automation, such as a OPC UA Server, DataLogger, and a sophisticated set of notifications and alarms you can rely on in programming. And what's an industrial automation system worth without interfaces for communicating from all the other languages, frameworks, or even applications running out of containers? 

Of course you can write your own function extensions to the PLCnext Runtime System as well, enhancing our open industrial automation platform for some use cases. In PLCnext Technology, this goes without saying: If others could benefit from your extraordinary solution, then share or sell it to other users via the PLCnext Store.

Getting in touch with others

Your questions, hints, and feedback are always welcome. Do not hesitate to connect with other PLCnext Technology users around the world, and our passionate PLCnext Technology team at Phoenix Contact.

  • For development-related questions or hints, visit the Forum section in the PLCnext Community;
    to post your questions or findings, please register (no costs whatsoever, no ads).
  • For further product information, application, and use cases, contact your local subsidiary of Phoenix Contact.
  • For feedback to this information platform, please send an email to the authors.




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• Published/reviewed: 2023-01-31 • Revision 052 •