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Workflow and decision support for the design of distributed automation systems

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6 Author(s)
Timo Frank ; Technical University Munich, Faculty of Mechanical Engineering, Institute of Automation and Information Systems ; Karin Eckert ; Thomas Hadlich ; Alexander Fay
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Distribution of automation functions onto several controllers has become a widely applied answer to the demands of huge and complex automated systems. Distributed networked automation systems offer advantages regarding various nonfunctional requirements, such as flexibility, availability and maintainability. On the other hand, they impose additional challenges, e.g. for fulfilling the real-time requirements. Control engineers face difficulties in coping with all non-functional requirements when designing distributed networked automation systems, as there are trade-offs between them. A complete and detailed model of the automation system, including all computation and network effects, is usually not available. Therefore, control engineers have a demand for support when making design decisions for distributed networked automation systems. In this contribution, the authors propose an engineering workflow which allows dealing with the design decisions and the non-functional requirements in an appropriate order, and underpins the need for additional support regarding design alternatives.

Published in:

IEEE 10th International Conference on Industrial Informatics

Date of Conference:

25-27 July 2012