PLC GXWorks2 vs Arduino or other C/Python/PHP code

Ive been working with Arduino for a couple of years and have worked with php/asp/objC for a few years before that. Im very comfortable writing code, but now I have to get into PLCs that use Ladder Code, specifically GXWorks2.

Im wondering if there is any way to use those PLCs by uploading C code to them instead of Ladder structures. I just have a hard time seeing and interpreting and understanding (more so writing) ladder code, so Id like to know if for example I can take a simple ladder code and convert it to C code in GCWorks2 or something similar, just to see if its later possible to write code and simply upload it to the plc or write code, convert it to ladder and then upload that to the PLC.

If you source a PLC that is IEC 61131 compliant, you can program it in one of 5 languages.

  1. Instruction List, an assembly-like language
  2. Structured Text, a Pascal-like language
  3. Ladder Diagram, traditional PLC "Ladder Logic" language
  4. Function Block Diagram, a graphic language
  5. Sequential Function Chart, a mix of all of the above

On so none of those are software programming languages like C?

I'm sorry I don't know the technical names for the different languages

You can always replace the PLC with a microcontroller :wink:

There are those who have set out to write C to IEC 61131 convertors (Google convert C to PLC) and most have concluded it's not worth the effort. As most modern PLCs come with RS232/RS485/Ethernet connection capabilities, it might be better to have the MCU, programmed in C, issue the appropriate commands. I do this with VFDs as they use a similar command structure and can be controlled off-site with a simple serial link.

Marciokoko:
On so none of those are software programming languages like C?

I'm sorry I don't know the technical names for the different languages

Structured Text is like C, but it's not C. It's closer to C than any of the others. Here is the manual for programming in Structured Text using GX Works2. Here is another book on Structured Text Programming.

DKWatson:
You can always replace the PLC with a microcontroller :wink:

There are Arduino inspired PLC products like the Controllino. I have no experience with them, but they do exist.

Perehama:
There are Arduino inspired PLC products like the Controllino. I have no experience with them, but they do exist.

They do have a long way to go before a ruggedized commercial version arrives. The other issue is that there is a deeply ingrained class who are quite familiar with ladder code that could probably never be taught C.