Ctrl Function Blocks are the equivalent to integrated circuits, representing a specialized control function. They contain data as well as the algorithm, so they can keep track of the past (which is one of the differences w.r.t. Ctrl Functions). They have a well-defined interface and hidden internals, like an integrated circuit or black box. In this way they give a clear separation between different levels of programmers, or maintenance people.

A temperature control loop, or PID, is an excellent example of a Ctrl Function Block. Once defined, it can be used over and over again, in the same Ctrl Program, different Ctrl Programs, or even different projects. This makes them highly re-usable.

Ctrl Function Blocks can be written in any of the IEC 61131-3 languages, and in most cases even in “C”. This way they can be defined by the user. Derived Ctrl Function Blocks are based on the standard defined Ctrl Function Blocks, but also completely new, customized Ctrl Function Blocks are possible within the standard: it just provides the framework.

The interfaces of Ctrl Functions and Ctrl Function Blocks are described in the same way.