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The design of a solid-state physical model of an automated system to be used as a test bed for control applications

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6 Author(s)
Gonzalez, F.G. ; Dept. of Electr. Eng. & Comput. Sci., Central Florida Univ., Orlando, FL, USA ; Helton, A. ; Helton, D. ; Smith, J.
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In order to develop, test, and validate control software for managing automated systems, laboratories have traditionally constructed experimental test beds using actual physical equipment (small scale). These experimental systems typically occupy a large amount of lab space, cost thousands of dollars to construct, and require considerable human expertise to operate. Using dedicated micro-controllers (programmable logic controllers), we have proposed the use of a solid-state physical model of an automated system which faithfully replicates the operating characteristics of an ensemble of physical equipment that would typically comprise an automated system. The authors present the design of a solid-state physical model of a flexible manufacturing system (FMS). Solid-state models have several unique advantages over the traditional models. First, they are inexpensive and can easily be replicated at other laboratories. Second, they can be easily reconfigured to consider alternative scenarios. Third, they can consider an emulated environment that is far more complex than those that are typically addressed by models using actual equipment. Finally, they are totally reliable and safe, and require minimal expertise to operate. The paper discusses the design and operational characteristics of the solid-state model, along with its anticipated uses and current limitations

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Simulation Conference, 2000. Proceedings. Winter  (Volume:1 )

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