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A new approach to the development and maintenance of industrial sequence logic

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posted on 10.04.2018, 10:20 by Peter Hopkinson
This thesis is concerned with sequence logic as found in industrial control systems, with the focus being on process and manufacturing control systems. At its core is the assertion that there is a need for a better approach to the development of industrial sequence logic to satisfy the life-cycle requirements, and that many of the ingredients required to deliver such an approach are now available. The needs are discussed by considering the business case for automation and deficiencies with traditional approaches. A set of requirements is then derived for an integrated development environment to address the business needs throughout the control system life-cycle. The strengths and weaknesses of relevant control system technology and standards are reviewed and their bias towards implementation described. Mathematical models, graphical methods and software tools are then assessed with respect to the requirements for an integrated development environment. A solution to the requirements, called Synect is then introduced. Synect combines a methodology using familiar graphical notations with Petri net modelling supported by a set of software tools. Its key features are justified with reference to the requirements. A set of case studies forms the basis of an evaluation against business needs by comparing the Synect methodology with current approaches. The industrial relevance and exploitation are then briefly described. The thesis ends with a review of the key conclusions along with contributions to knowledge and suggestions for further research.



  • Mechanical, Electrical and Manufacturing Engineering


© Peter Hopkinson

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This work is made available according to the conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International (CC BY-NC-ND 4.0) licence. Full details of this licence are available at:

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A Doctoral Thesis. Submitted in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the award of Doctor of Philosophy at Loughborough University.



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