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Windows NT Workstation, the VMEbus, and real-time control

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2 Author(s)
Carew, W.D. ; Dept. of Electr. Eng., Cape Town Univ., Rondebosch, South Africa ; Prince, K.J.

Flotation processes are important in the mining industries and because of their multivariable nature, require a more advanced approach for the control systems. The level control used in the flotation process is not a trivial problem and needs to be addressed so as to optimize the entire multivariable system. Windows NTTM Workstation is becoming a more prevalent choice of a robust operating system, providing features such as multitasking, a graphical user interface (GUI), and hardware portability. This operating system was evaluated as a platform for the realization of a real-time control system. The personal computer (PC), though popular, is not suitable for use as industrial specification equipment; an industrial hardware solution must be sought. Over the last decade, the VMEbus has emerged as an industrial standard. These computer systems are designed to withstand harsh industrial environments, providing robust, stable solutions for control problems. The system assessed in this article is a VME computer based on the Intel processor, manufactured by OR Industrial Computers running the Windows NT Workstation operating system. This article demonstrates the successful application of the Windows NT VMEbus computer system to a practical control application. The generalized predictive control (GPC) scheme, which has proven popular in industry, is applied to a multivariable laboratory flotation plant

Published in:

Control Systems, IEEE  (Volume:17 ,  Issue: 4 )