Advanced architecture for universal machine control
conference contributionposted on 10.03.2014, 12:53 authored by Richard H. Weston, Keith CaseKeith Case, Philip R. Moore, P.R. Harrison
Computer control of machines is now commonplace in industrial, commercial and domestic situations. Digitally controlled equipment is available from many sources and can be configured in various ways to produce software controlled industrial machines. However, despite major technological developments in real-time control there is still a pressing need for a methodology to facilitate its widespread utilization. The variety of equipment available and range of manufacturers involved has resulted in the emergence of a great many techniques and standards relating to communication, information exchange and programming. However, where standards exist they are often de facto and non-conformity is common. The performance capabilities of computer controlled machines should reflect the state-of-the-art with respect to the enabling technology. Progress both in technical and commercial terms can be rapid, with frequent changes in the leading suppliers. No single supplier is likely to have the expertise or resources to develop and maintain a leading position as the source of all the items needed to create integrated systems. A system builder wishing to optimize his design must therefore use proprietary building blocks from a number of different sources. However, this means that large amounts of time and effort must be allocated to the development of custom software to integrate different manufacturer's equipment. The alternative is to limit the choice to known items from a restricted range of suppliers, but the associated risks are well known. At best, the system builder is likely to be cut off from the progress of the technology and at worst he may be unable to obtain equipment support and supply.
- Mechanical, Electrical and Manufacturing Engineering