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Welcome to NI LabVIEW Ladder Diagram Editor

This thread is intended to foster discussion regarding the NI LabVIEW Ladder Diagram Editor. Please post any comments or questions about the toolkit here, and I will be happy to respond.

The NI LabVIEW Ladder Diagram Editor provides an editor for defining ladder logic that is fully integrated into the LabVIEW Project.  By using familiar IEC-61131 standard ladder programming concepts such as contacts and coils, users can write ladder programs that will run on a LabVIEW Real-Time target.  Users can drop built-in LabVIEW functions, or their own subVIs, directly on ladder diagram rungs.

System Requirements:
LabVIEW 8.6
LabVIEW Real-Time 8.6


JR Andrews

Message Edited by Support on 08-04-2008 11:31 AM
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Message 1 of 46

Dear Mr Andrews,


I have a general question about the integration of IEC-61131 code into LabVIEW.

I noticed that with the new release of LV 8.6, it is already possible to integrate standard PLCOpen IEC-61131 FB's. This means that the IEC FBD language is already supported.

As I see that there is also the intention of a Ladder Diagram Editor, does this mean that in the end LV will fully support the 61131 features (Structured Text, AS,...)  ?

This would be very nice because a lot of control / industrial automation engineers have standardized their application development with 61131 programming tools.

If LV would be fully 61131 compatible, they could use LV for their classical 61131 application development, but also benefit with the same tool (LV) from the numerous available functionalities/modules/toolkits for controller design, DAQ, vision, state chart,... and finally deploy all this on a LV Real-Time target.

What's your vision ?




R&D Drive Systems Developer



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Message 2 of 46

Hello Wim,


 Yes, there are several features that were introduced in LabVIEW Real-Time 8.6 that are geared toward industrial users such as scanned I/O and Function Blocks. With regards to future plans, that is highly dependent on feedback that we get. That specifically the reason why we've put the Ladder Diagram Editor up here on NI Labs. We are interested in feedback such as what use cases it solves, what features are missing, and what additional tools (such as Structured Text) would be necessary for you to use it in an opportunity. Any information that you could share with us would be appreciated.





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Message 3 of 46

Cross-posted as requested from LAVA:


A few great things about this package:
1. Maintenance Electricians understand ladder logic (coils/contacts/...). Most electricians don't like variables and programs (anything else running on a computer).
2. The production world thinks "stability" when they think of ladder logic. They think "instability" when they think of computer programs (i.e. Windows). This can bridge the gap for NI in the production world.
3. Under the hood, the user can run custom VIs. Both worlds win!

One mega-disadvantage compared to PLCs:
Programmable logic controllers have the ability to make program modifications online (while running a program). There are limitations of online edits, such that the user variable storage is fixed. However, changes in logic are possible without disrupting a production line. If NI could develop a way to allow for online edits and with the ability to program in a familar language, I could see the real-time/cRIO market become a viable option.

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Message 4 of 46
I like This ..Very Good
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Message 5 of 46

This is an excellent development for LabVIEW and Manufacturing.  I suggest that having a interface similar to a PLC is the MINIMUM requirement for NI to get involved in industrial automation in a big way.  Without it, you will always be on the fringe.  We work in the Ontario Manufacutring sector and the biggest problem is the maintainance and perceived reliability of using NI products in a production line.  You cannot expect a manufacutring company to train staff to use LabVIEW but they already know how to use a PLC.


This functionality is so important to us that we have been considering writting our own version of it to be used with vision applications, but if NI can develop something soon that is ready for industry and fully impliments the IEC-61131 standard, then we will definatly take advantage of it.  We woud need a version that could be edited in a run-time environment, so we can provide an embedded applicaiton to our clients that can be tweaked and modified, without having a LabVIEW development license.  I look forward to seeing more of this, and soon.




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Message 6 of 46

That tool could give us the capability to extend the number of custmers!

I'm sure that LabVIEW is the only solution....anyway....


I'm trying to use the tool and I've three questions :

1) Why we can't wire constants but only variables?....constans are useful and simply readable from PLC-Like customers (and for general programmers too)

2) Why we cant wire series or parallel of contact to the funcrional blocks? (try to wire a parallel or a series of contacts on the S or R input of a Latch Function)

3) Can we find some examples that a "standard customer" can see to have a feeling with the editor? (a PLC-user could see the editor approach...)




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Message 7 of 46

Have there been any known issues with installation of the ladder diagram editor on 8.6.1 (professional development with mathscript, fpga and realtime)? We attempted to install but the ladder editor screen does not open. We can install the .lvlad ladder into a project but cannot proceed from there to the ladder editor. From what we saw in the help, the editor screen immediately pops up when it is added to the project. Thanks



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Message 8 of 46

Hi Josh,


The Ladder Editor currently only supports LabVIEW 8.6 with LabVIEW Real-Time 8.6.  Version 8.6.1 is not supported at this time.  Any updates on planned future support of the ladder editor will be communicated in this thread.

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Message 9 of 46

Has a target date been set as to when the Ladder Editor will be available for 8.6.1?   We're using a LabVIEW PXI system in combination with a  Controllogix PLC for an industrial application.  I'd really like to try out the LabVIEW Ladder Editor to be able to compare it with the PLC.

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Message 10 of 46