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Current trends in the manufacturing sector have greatly increased the need for portability and reusability in software systems for industrial control and automation. The IEC 61499 standard has emerged out of this need for a platform-independent way to develop industrial control systems. So far, typical IEC 61499 solutions have relied on some run-time environment that differ in the execution model for each implementation. This has resulted in code that is neither portable, nor efficient in terms of execution speed and memory footprint. Therefore, we present, instead, a synchronous model for function blocks, which removes the need for a run-time environment by making all event scheduling decisions during compile-time. This approach has been used to create a function block compiler, with two different back-end code generators. We present experimental results of a benchmark suite implemented using different code generators for different execution models, and show that our technique yields significant gains in efficiency over existing approaches.
Date of Conference: 10-13 Feb. 2009