Headquarters Canada
Beckhoff Automation Ltd.

4 Schiedel Court, Unit 1-3
Cambridge ON N3C 0H1, Canada

+1 226-765-7700

TwinCAT automation software


TE1xxx | TwinCAT 3 Engineering

The TwinCAT 3 engineering components enable the configuration, programming and debugging of applications.

TC1xxx | TwinCAT 3 Base

The TwinCAT 3 basic components can be extended by functions.

TFxxxx | TwinCAT 3 Functions

The basic components can be extended by TwinCAT 3 functions. The functions are classified into various categories. e.g. motion control, measurement technology, control technology and communication.

TwinCAT 3 Build 4024

New TwinCAT properties reduce engineering costs and increase communication stability

TwinCAT 3 platforms

The TwinCAT 3 runtime components are available for different platform levels. The platform levels correspond to the various TwinCAT 3 platform levels of the Beckhoff PCs.

TwinCAT 3 licensing

TwinCAT 3.1 offers the option of using a TwinCAT 3 license key (license dongle) for licensing.

TXxxxx | TwinCAT 2 Base

TwinCAT 2 Base consists of runtime systems for the real-time execution of control programs and development environments for programming, configuration and diagnostics.

TSxxxx | TwinCAT 2 Supplements

The TwinCAT 2 Supplements can be used for the individual addition of functions to the TC2 Base components.

Senior product managers Dr. Josef Papenfort and Roland van Mark present the implementing of intelligent operator interface concepts in Industrie 4.0 environments using IPC platforms with integrated cloud communications.
Senior product managers Dr. Josef Papenfort and Roland van Mark present the implementing of intelligent operator interface concepts in Industrie 4.0 environments using IPC platforms with integrated cloud communications.

Open, PC-based control technology

Beckhoff created a global standard for automation with the launch of PC-based control technology in 1986. On the software side, the TwinCAT (The Windows Control and Automation Technology) automation suite forms the core of the control system. The TwinCAT software system turns almost any PC-based system into a real-time control with multiple PLC, NC, CNC and/or robotics runtime systems. TwinCAT 3 is the systematic further development of TwinCAT 2, with which the world of automation technology is being redefined.

TwinCAT 3 highlights

  • only one software for programming and configuration
  • Visual Studio® integration
  • more freedom in selecting programming languages
  • support for the object-oriented extension of IEC 61131-3
  • use of C/C++ as the programming language for real time applications
  • link to MATLAB®/Simulink®
  • open interfaces for expandability and adaptation to the tools landscape
  • flexible runtime environment
  • active support of multi-core and 64-bit systems
  • migration of TwinCAT 2 projects
  • automatic code generation and project implementation with the TwinCAT Automation Interface

Round table TwinCAT – a future-oriented software platform for automation: Users in exchange.
Round table TwinCAT – a future-oriented software platform for automation: Users in exchange.

Integration in Microsoft Visual Studio® makes it possible to program automation objects in parallel with the aid of the 3rd edition of IEC 61131-3 and the C or C++ languages. The objects (modules) generated can exchange data with each other and call each other independently of the language they were written in. The TwinCAT System Manager has been integrated into the development environment. This way, only one software is required to configure, parameterize, program and to diagnose automation devices.

Visual Studio® integration can be accomplished in two different ways. TwinCAT Standard only uses the basic framework of Visual Studio® with all its benefits in terms of handling, connection to source code control software, etc., while TwinCAT Integrated, as the name implies, integrates itself into Visual Studio®. In this version, the C/C++, C#, VB.NET programming languages and link to MATLAB®/Simulink® are available.

  • one tool – Microsoft Visual Studio®
  • integrated: IEC 61131 – worldwide standard in automation
  • integrated: C/C++ – worldwide standard in IT
  • integrated: TwinCAT System Manager – well-known configuration tool
  • link to MATLAB®/Simulink®: worldwide standard in science
  • TwinCAT 2 projects can be migrated.
  • TwinCAT 3 modules: standardized programming frames using .NET
  • programming languages for non-real-time capable applications (e.g. HMI)

  • IEC 61131, C/C++, MATLAB®/Simulink® objects in one runtime
  • extended real-time-functionality: min. 50 μs cycle time and low jitter
  • enhanced performance: support of multi-core CPUs
  • future-proof: supports 64-bit operating systems

C and C++ programming languages

  • standardized
  • widely used programming languages
  • very powerful programming languages
  • run under the same runtime as PLC programs

Extended debugging of C++ programs

  • debugging of C++ programs that run in real-time
  • use of breakpoints
  • use of watch lists
  • use of call stacks

Basis for MATLAB®/Simulink®

  • great variety of toolboxes
  • possibilities for use:
    • building of control circuits
    • in simulation
    • in optimization
  • automatic code generation
  • debug interface between MATLAB®/Simulink® and TwinCAT

Integration of Visual Studio®

Automation devices and application programming in one environment

  • use of the most famous and best supported development suite
  • future-proof
  • editing of PLC programs and complex visualizations in one environment
  • multi-language support
  • modern look and feel
  • context-sensitive online help
  • automatic syntax checking
  • IntelliSense
  • syntax highlighting
  • use of the well-known source code control tools

Open architecture

  • extendable by plug-ins

For more efficient programming of automation devices, the editors for IEC 61131-3 programming in TwinCAT have been significantly improved. The operability in particular has been improved and the debugging options have been extended. The options include improved inline monitoring, conditional break points and more.

TwinCAT 3 likewise supports the extensions to the 3rd edition of the IEC 61131-3 standard. These enable among other things the use of object-oriented techniques such as single inheritance, interfaces, methods and attributes, which significantly increase both the reusability and the quality of the control code.

IEC 61131-3 programming

  • supplier-independent programming standard
  • PLCopen certification
  • portable, reusable software
  • five graphic and text-based programming languages:
    • Structured Text and Instruction List
    • Function Block Diagram and Ladder Diagram
    • Sequential Function Chart
  • data encapsulation by user-defined data types

Extended options in TwinCAT 3:

  • improved ease of operation usability
    • auto-complete
    • marking of associated keywords
    • collapsing of programming structures
  • extended debugging
    • use of conditional break points
    • improved inline monitoring
  • object-oriented extensions
    • single inheritance
    • interfaces
    • methods
    • attributes

TwinCAT 3 offers the possibility to program automation projects with the assistance of the C/C++ languages. The C-Compiler contained in Microsoft Visual Studio® is used for the code generation. With the aid of a "Software Development Kit" (SDK), functions are provided for the reading/writing of files, starting of threads, allocation of memory or communication with a database, which corresponds to the IEC 61131-3 mechanism when using libraries.

C/C++ as programming languages in automation technology

  • powerful, widely used programming languages
  • standardized, object-oriented programming languages
  • generation of efficient object code
  • run under the same runtime as PLC programs
  • Beckhoff SDK for extended functionality in the real-time context

Extended debugging of C++ programs

  • debugging of C++ programs that run in real-time
  • monitoring, watch lists also without the use of break points

The integration of MATLAB®/Simulink® enables execution of TwinCAT modules that were regenerated as models in the Simulink® simulation environment. The chosen interfacing type displays the parameters and variables in the graphic interface of TwinCAT 3 and enables viewing and modification.

Integration with the simulation software MATLAB®/Simulink®

  • standard tool in scientific and measuring applications
  • wide range of toolboxes (e.g. Fuzzy Logic Toolbox)
  • development, simulation and optimization of complex control loops
  • automatic code generation via coder
  • debug interface between TwinCAT 3 and Simulink®
  • parameterization of the generated module in TwinCAT 3
  • download and execution of the module in TwinCAT 3 runtime
  • multiple module instantiation possible
  • Modules can be used without MATLAB®/Simulink®.

With eXtended Motion Control, TwinCAT automation software offers an integrated and scalable solution for motion control applications including simple point-to-point movements, CNC and robot control.

Interpolation motion for Robotic Control

Advantages of the integration of robotic control in TwinCAT

  • configuration, parameterization, diagnostics and programming in TwinCAT
  • optimum synergy between PLC, motion control and robot control system
  • high performance and precision through direct interfaces

Kinematic calculation process

  • forward transformation
  • inverse transformation
  • calculation of the dynamic model

The Safety Editor integrated in TwinCAT 3 allows the creation of a safety application in a graphical environment. The user can program the desired logic directly with function blocks. The logic can initially be developed independently of the hardware configuration, leading to increased flexibility and portability. Additionally, the editor can automatically generate documentation for the application, making both the act of documenting and commissioning significantly easier.

TwinCAT Safety Editor

  • graphical programming
  • fully integrated in TwinCAT 3
  • convenient diagnostics through the direct display of online values in the graphical environment
  • multi-level verification of the application for consistency
  • automatic project download verification

TwinCAT 2 highlights

The Beckhoff TwinCAT software system turns almost any compatible PC into a real-time controller with a multi-PLC system, NC axis control, programming environment and operating station. TwinCAT replaces conventional PLC and NC/CNC controllers as well as operating devices with:

  • embedment of IEC 61131-3 – and thus realization of a software PLC
  • integrated Motion Control solution – from NC PTP, robotics to CNC
  • programming system and runtime can be operated on one PC or also separately
  • runtime reduced to one core of a CPU
  • support for 32-bit operating systems (Windows CE, Windows 7, Windows 10)
  • connection to all common fieldbuses
  • PC interfaces (network, PCI, USB, hard disk) are supported
  • data connection to user interfaces and other programs using open standards (OPC, ADS etc.)