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Intelligent Component-Based Automation of Baggage Handling Systems With IEC 61499

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2 Author(s)
Black, G. ; Univ. of Auckland, Auckland, New Zealand ; Vyatkin, V.

Airport baggage handling is a field of automation systems that is currently dependent on centralized control systems and conventional automation programming techniques. In this and other areas of manufacturing and materials handling, these legacy automation technologies are increasingly limiting for the growing demand for systems that are reconfigurable, fault tolerant, and easy to maintain. IEC 61499 Function Blocks is an emerging architectural framework for the design of distributed industrial automation systems and their reusable components. A number of architectures have been suggested for multiagent and holonic control systems that incorporate function blocks. This paper presents a multiagent control approach for a baggage handling system (BHS) using IEC 61499 Function Blocks. In particular, it focuses on demonstrating a decentralized control system that is scalable, reconfigurable, and fault tolerant. The design follows the automation object approach, and produces a function block component representing a single section of conveyor. In accordance with holonic principles, this component is autonomous and collaborative, such that the structure and the behavior of a BHS can be entirely defined by the interconnection of these components within the function block design environment. Simulation is used to demonstrate the effectiveness of the agent-based control system and a utility is presented for real-time viewing of these systems. Tests on a physical conveyor test system demonstrated deployment to embedded control hardware.

Published in:

Automation Science and Engineering, IEEE Transactions on  (Volume:7 ,  Issue: 2 )