Remote maintenance of control system performance over the internet

The Internet provides a significant benefit for the remote maintenance and fault diagnosis of various devices and plants. One such example is the UK’s distributed aircraft maintenance environment (DAME) (www.cs.york.ac.uk/dame), which provides a genetic test bed for distributed diagnostics based on Grid-enabled technologies. This paper focuses on developing a systematic method for the design of such a remote maintenance systems specifically for process control systems. Design issues of Internet-based remote maintenance systems for process control such as that proposed here include control performance assessment, fault detection, control performance maintenance, and heterogeneous data transfer over the Internet. A back-end and front-end architecture is proposed, in which all the heavy calculations are carried out locally. Light data and the characteristics of any heavy data are sent to the front-end located on the remote server for consideration by remote experts. The remote maintenance system is illustrated by reference to the implementation in a process control rig.