The Synthesis Tool for Automation Controller Supervision is an academic tool to evaluate the application of Supervisory Control Theory (SCT) for the runtime supervision of PLC-based controllers.

SynTACS features an end-to-end toolchain including numerous features for modeling and code-generation, entirely accessible from a user-friendly graphical UI.

Use Case

The primary objective of SynTACS is the supervision of software-based controllers in the area of manufacturing or process automation in order to enforce safety during runtime. In this context, mainly two use cases are considered: Potentially erroneous controller code, e.g., during the development phases of design, testing, evaluation or parameterization, and (partially) human-operated systems. In both cases, the compliance with given safety requirements can not be ensured by nature. Nonetheless, certain side conditions, such as safety, need to be guaranteed under all circumstances.


The diagram below sketches the user workflow with SynTACS.

Manual tasks are surrounded by green boxes, while gray boxes represent automated procedures. A small SynTACS logo marks all tasks which can be carried out by or with the tool.

Besides the controller, the user models the safety requirements on the one hand and the behavior of the according plant components on the other hand. Models are provided as discrete-event systems. Numerous modeling features support the user during this task.

Since the majority of PLC systems requires the use of dedicated, proprietary IDEs, the integration of the controller into the generated framework has to be performed in that IDE. However, the SynTACS code generation vastly supports this process by providing specialized code for different PLC manufacturers and IDEs, including PLCopen XML.