Platform products are in basic terms standard hardware products combined with customized software. These come in form of controllers, HMIs and sensors that can be mixed and matched to fit an application.
The key-point here is represented by the Application Software. A common base structure and library makes it easier for development to switch into different applications very quickly. The result is to achieve a mix of high efficiency, liability and adequate functionality.
Similar to the hardware platform, also the application software platform is developed based on a modular concept that allows to design solutions compliant with safety regulations and end-users needs. Here is an example how MOBA has these layers structured:
Another big advantage of platform applications is definitively the option to program in CoDeSys that allows even OEMs to develop or customize their application software by themselves.
With a strategy as outlined above, it is easy to develop a new model for the same or a similar machine out of a machine product family (e.g. could be an aerial working platform) very fast. Using the same hardware solutions, or integrating it with other CAN-BUS objects, only the application software have to be changed. Development and site commissioning can just be done in a matter of weeks.
Are you using platform products? Where do you see benefits or obstacles?