Simulink® with PLCnext Technology

Use Case

If you already use Simulink® for modelling, you might be eager to run these models on a PLCnext Control, monitor the values online, modify block parameters, and even operate your models together with other programs created in IEC 61131-3 or high-level languages like C++.

And of course you can do that!

From Day 1 of PLCnext Technology, there is an Add-on that can be implemented to the PLCnext Engineer (former PC Worx Engineer) and provides the Simulink® target for a range of Phoenix Contact controllers, including members of the PLCnext Control family.


Simulink® is a software program for the graphical, model-based development of dynamic systems, developed by The MathWorks, Inc.  This company is already famous for MATLAB® which provides a text-based simulation environment containing thousands of algorithms that you can also use with Simulink.

Models converted from Simulink® into code can be integrated into the PLCnext Engineer development environment using the “PC Worx Target for Simulink” software add-on by Phoenix Contact (product no. 2400041, downloadable free of charge for testing).

This enables the conversion of Simulink® models into device-specific code for use with Remote Field Controllers, e. g. RFC 4072S, and Axioline Controllers, e.g. AXC F 2152.

The model-based design and versatile simulation possibilities of Simulink® can therefore also be used for automation projects within PLCnext Technology. A structured model implementation can be ensured, thanks to the automatic creation of executable code. The import and configuration options in PLCnext Engineer also enable Simulink® models to be operated together with programs that have been created in IEC 61131-3 languages or C++.

The combination with other high-level-language programs in the same task and execution in the real-time context is therefore also possible for Simulink® models. Furthermore, you can also implement monitoring of model parameters, and optimization of the models during execution via the “External Mode”.

How to

As a regular user of Simulink®, you know how to set up a model.Package shot of PC Worx Target for Simulink
But how can you apply the hard work put in there to run on your PLCnext Control?

  • Make sure to have PLCnext Engineer installed
  • Watch the Tutorial videos in the PLCnext Community showing these steps:
    • Download PC Worx Target for Simulink®
    • Install the tool and your target PLCnext Control SDK
    • Create a Simulink® model and export it as a library 
    • Import the library into PLCnext Engineer
    • Execute the model on your PLCnext Control
    • and optional:
      • Configure the model for use in External Mode in Simulink®
      • Set up a split view with Simulink® and PLCnext Engineer
      • Monitor the online values via a scope
      • Modify block parameters online