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One important requirement of production systems is the fast reaction on changes in the market. This means for the system architecture of the automation systems, that a high flexibility is required. To realize this objective within the last years the industrial automation was characterized by an increasing use of technologies, that are originally developed for the internet- and office-area. In this context object-oriented programming concepts and languages like Java become more and more interesting for all levels of automation. In the lower level of automation where control-applications normally requires real-time capabilities Java is not a typical programming-language so far. But the general advantages of Java like platform-independence, high programming efficiency and networking abilities can also provide benefits for control programming resulting in a high code reusability and stability of application. Within this article the state of the art in realtime Java is considered. Existing approaches and concepts for structuring Java control applications will be mentioned. As an example for a Java- based control for flexible manufacturing systems a Co-operative Manufacturing Unit, developed within the PABADIS project, will be explained.
Date of Conference: 21-24 Aug. 2003