In order to flexibly adapt the control software of automated material flow systems to changes, an approach for a modular and backwards compatible control software is presented. In this way, higher-version software modules are able to imitate the interfaces and behavior of older modules. Thus, the exchange of automated material flow modules can be improved and the engineering effort and error-proneness can be reduced. The approach is based on a developed modeling language for the formalized description of the control software. Due to a model-based approach to analyzing the interface and behavior of automated material flow modules automatically, differences between two software versions can be identified and classified. In order to adapt the differences, (pre)defined wrappers are applied automatically. To improve the usability of the approach, a layout-oriented editor enabling the development of the control software based on the assembly of icons representing the electrical/mechanical components, e.g. a roller conveyor, from top view on the automated material flow systems was introduced. The evaluations show the application of the approaches in a real industrial automated material flow system. Based on this application, the modeling of backwards compatible material flow modules and the corresponding generation to IEC 61131-3 compliant code is demonstrated. In order to evaluate the industrial applicability of the approaches, several feasibility studies as well as workshops and a paper survey of different experts in the field of material flow systems were conducted.