Industrial Control Centre, University of Strathclyde, 50 George
Street, Glasgow G1 1QE, UK
|Abstract: The paper describes the Concerted Action DYCOMANS project supported by the European Commission COPERNICUS Programme. The project is devoted to management, simulation and control in manufacturing systems. Sixteen institutions, majority from East European countries are the regular members of the Network. In addition many more have been attracted to the events organised within the project. DYCOMANS works towards an approach to manufacturing system design which would combine expertise of control engineering practitioners with the expertise of engineering management community. This is often referred to as hybrid systems design and seems to be one of the key areas is modern manufacturing processes.|
Key words: Dynamic control, dynamic simulation, discrete-event
systems, management systems, manufacturing processes.
Rapid developments in capacity and speed of computer systems enables the wider use of modern computational methods in real industrial and engineering problems. The main issues which must be addressed are identification, simulation, control and optimisation of industrial plants to achieve better efficiency and quality, to minimise waste and to reduce environmental pollution. New tools, so called Icon Oriented Simulation Languages, enabling relatively cheap and accurate simulation of dynamic processes, and providing control design and optimisation, have been become increasingly popular. The new versions of MATRIXx, EASY5 and MATLAB (Simulink) have become available during the last years, adding more features and making the design process easier. The variety of tools present on the market enable problems to be tackled ranging from simple to very complex.
Increased efficiency and falling prices of universal simulation packages ensure that very specialised simulation systems developed by particular industries for their needs are loosing popularity. An example can be taken from the steel industry in Britain which has a lot of effort into converting their in-house software for the modelling of rolling mills into a MATRIXx hot mill simulation (the project is currently active at Strathclyde).
It is becoming a standard for most western industries to use such tools to construct models of industrial plants. Also in academia, the availability of efficient simulation packages has stimulated research in the field of modelling and advanced control of manufacturing processes.
A dynamic simulation enables the behaviour of different industrial modules to be considered in terms of variables which are continuous in time and space (temperatures, pressures etc.). A separate issue is so called Discrete Event Process Simulation and Control. In this case, the interest is in generating the behaviour in time and space of events which are parts of manufacturing activity (e.g. production line, transport system in a factory). Most real industrial problems require both the dynamic and the discrete event part. This need has been recognised at the beginning of the project and stimulated the proposed program of research within the network. Further confirmation came from sampling opinion within the Control Engineering community.
The most important event in the field of Automatic Control, the
IFAC World Congress took place last year in San Francisco. From
the programme of the Congress and observing the popularity of
the sessions it is easy to conclude that areas of research involving
discrete events and "hybrid" i.e. discrete-event and
continuous-event combined together are to play very important
roles in Automatic Control in the near future. This trend is especially
visible in the leading research institutions in the United States.
Research in this area must be stimulated to ensure that European
research programmes will not be left behind.
The following tendencies influence the future directions of the research activities :
2. CONCERTED ACTION DYCOMANS
The Concerted Action DYCOMANS has been established timely to address the above mentioned issues. The network is aimed at manufacturing industry and the adoption of modern simulation and design tools, enabling Technology Transfer from participating research institutions to the manufacturing industries. Thus, the main objectives are as follows :
The network members are institutions with a recognised expertise
either in the field of Advanced Industrial Control or Management
of Manufacturing Systems. Thus the network aims at unification
of research in the two fields and working out a unified global
approach to tackle real life manufacturing problems. The project
enables exchange of technologies between the two areas of engineering.
Also, the technology transfer from academia to industry and from
West European to East European countries is supported. Each of
the network members brings its own expertise which complements
the strength of the group.
3. PARTICIPANTS OF THE PROJECT
DMEM, University of Strathclyde
Department of Design, Manufacture and Engineering Management,
University of Strathclyde participates actively in all network
activities. The group possesses a significant experience in modelling
and simulation of manufacturing processes. The issues concerned
with the factory simulation, simulation tools for production planning
and development of control architecture for manufacturing systems
have been addressed in presentations by the group members.
The Department of Automatic Control and the Department of Electronic
Engineering from the Technical University of Silesia are represented
in DYCOMANS. Their expertise is in control systems analysis and
synthesis and in signal processing. The group participates actively
in organisation of the Network events and in exchange of information.
The Department of Industrial Engineering, University of Technology
Zylina brings to the network their experience in modelling of
manufacturing processes and in discrete-event simulation tools.
The group has presented the results originated from the network
co-operation at the opening session of the Second World Congress
on Intelligent Manufacturing Systems.
The Laboratory for Automation and Robotics, University of Patras
specialises in Integrated Manufacturing Systems. The group has
enriched the DYCOMANS Network with the expertise in Artificial
Intelligence methods. In addition, through Prof. P. Groumpos,
the group provides a useful link to the Network of Excellence
in Intelligent Control and Integrated Manufacturing Systems (ICIMS)
supported by ESPRIT programme of the EC.
The group from the Department of Automation of Industry, Sofia
University of Technology specialises in industrial applications
of control. The group has close links with START Engineering.
Their involvement in the network concerned development of new
methods for monitoring and control of industrial objects, implementation
of the new algorithms, contacts and co-operation with local industry
(SME's like AMEES or KARENA and many firms working in power engineering
have been pulled into joint initiatives). The group has been strongly
involved in organisation of all Network events.
KOPROTECH is a design office specialising in building-block machine
tools, automatic production lines, flexible manufacturing systems,
control systems and drives. The company brings to the Network
the expertise in industrial automated manufacturing.
Computer and Automation Research Institute, Hungarian Academy
of Sciences is a major centre of research in the fields of Artificial
Intelligence, Computer Integrated Manufacturing and Systems and
Control. The group has been active in presenting the results of
their research in the field of computer aided intelligent manufacturing
and control design.
AS of the Czech Republic
Institute of Information Theory and Automation, Academy of Sciences
of the Czech Republic has been participating actively in all the
network events, exchange visits and in organisation of the Network
meetings. The group has shared with the Network members the expertise
in the field of control system design, computer implementations
and high efficiency algorithms.
Laboratoire d'Automatique de Grenoble
Laboratoire d'Automatique de Grenoble, Ecole Nationale Superieure
d'Igenieurs Electriciens de Grenoble is active in research in
numerous areas including : systems modelling and identification,
multivariable control, self-adaptive control. Linked to the group
is ADAPTECH, a high-tech company specialising in the development
of control software and consulting in the analysis and design
of industrial control systems.
University of Ljubljana
The research group at University of Ljubljana, Faculty of Electrical
Engineering, composed of members of the Laboratory of Modelling,
Simulation and Control and the Laboratory of Industrial Process
Control, has actively contributed to the Workshops organised in
the frame of the project. Members have presented main research
activities that could be interesting to other network members.
The presented topics include fuzzy-neuro modelling and its application
to model based predictive control, adaptive control and supervisory
control. Recently some group members started to work on the area
of discrete event and mixed discrete event-continuous systems.
Two contributions covering discrete and combined discrete-continuous
simulation will be presented at the forthcoming DYCOMANS Workshop
START Engineering has close links with Sofia University of Technology.
The company has contributed to the network by development of new
control methods and specialised software, implementation of the
new algorithms, contacts and co-operation with local industry.
The engineers from START have obtained access to the modern simulation
software which will be of a big help for the further development
of the company.
ADERSA designs, implements and commissions high performance control
systems for wide variety of industrial applications. The company
is known from the contribution to the development of industrial
predictive control. Industrial problems and industrial application
of predictive control have been regularly presented to the network
members. Some East European members of DYCOMANS visited the company
premises getting acquaitance with the control design methods.
Through Prof. J. Richalet a useful link has been established between
DYCOMANS and CIDIC Working Group on predictive control.
Institute for Organisation of Production Systems, Warsaw University
of Technology carries on research activities with a wide span
from work analysis and design to computer integrated manufacturing,
operational research and strategic planning. The group has contributed
to the Network activities by presenting papers at the Network
events and co-organising the meetings.
Institute of Mathematics and Computer Science, Lithuanian Academy
of Science participates in the DYCOMANS activities by presenting
research results in the field of dynamic recognition of processes.
Institute of Control Sciences, Russian Academy of Sciences specialises
in advanced and robust control analysis for uncertain systems.
The group offers to DYCOMANS a deep knowledge of mathematical
control theory and statistical processes.
ICC, University of Strathclyde
Industrial Control Centre, University of Strathclyde is the Network
co-ordinator. The Centre works actively in the field of control
applications to industrial processes and in robust control. In
addition, the Centre has provided links to a number of Western
research institutions through the EURACO network (supported by
the EC TMR programme). A joint conference of both DYCOMANS and
EURACO networks has been organised.
COPUREG, as a company dealing with industrial systems and applications
helps the network members to focus on real problems. The group's
implementation experience adds "real-world" dimension
to the research topics.
AMEES is a SME working in the field of power generation. The engineers
from AMEES have presented joint papers with START Engineering
and Sofia University of Technology at the Network meetings. They
also participated in visits to ADERSA.
Corresponding partners : ACT Club
The Advanced Control Technology Club is a technology transfer
organisation linked to Industrial Control Centre, University of
Strathclyde. The Club comprises around 30 British companies interested
in recent developments in control engineering and manufacturing
techniques. Co-operation of DYCOMANS Network with the Club resulted
in presentations delivered by DYCOMANS members at the Club meetings.
Also some delegates from the Club member companies attended the
Network events. The non-commercial information is exchanged between
the two organisations.
4. THE NETWORK ACTIVITIES
First year of the project
To realise the network goals and objectives, the following activities were performed during the first year of the project :
Second year of the project
The review meeting, summarising the first year of the Project
took place in Brussels in March 96. The review panel has accepted
the outcome of the first year of the project activities and agreed
the programme to be realised within the second and the third year.
Following this recommendation, the actions undertaken during the second year of the project were:
Third year of the project
After over two years of activity of the Concerted Action DYCOMANS several conclusions can be drawn as to the outcome of the project. Apparently the techniques analysed and developed within the project have a very wide area of industrial applications. This ranges from all types of manufacturing processes [Gregor et al, 95], [Reid and Banerjee, 95], robotised production lines [Kadar et al, 96], through metal processing [Hadjisky and Petkova, 96], [Hearns et al, 96], power industry [Toffner-Clausen et al, 96], [Moumdjian, 97], [Ordys and Johnson, 97] to aerospace engineering [Wisniewski and Blanke, 96].
The DYCOMANS group has been working on a global approach to problems in industrial automation. The planning procedures, well established in engineering management field [Stefanik et al, 95] can be combined with control system design practices [Kucera, 95], [Landau, 96] leading to a general scenario which would consist of the following components [Carrie, 95]:
All those elements are described in numerous articles included in the DYCOMANS Workshops Proceedings, e.g. [Santarek and Szumanski, 95], [Keviczky and Banyasz, 96], [Shpilewski, 96], [Georgopoulos and Groumpos, 95].
Several different techniques can be used at different stages of the above process. These include:
Some of the techniques are equally popular in dynamic control and in manufacturing management. A good example is artificial intelligence methods [Santarek and Buseif, 95], [Hadjiski and Kalaykov, 97]. Some other techniques are not equally popular in both fields and therefore would need more wide introduction. The research effort of the network members concentrated of this issue. Below are selected examples of a successful transfer of some design techniques from manufacturing management to control engineering or vice-versa.
It is a strong opinion of the DYCOMANS Steering Committee that the Network has been fulfilling its role very well.
Firstly, it is tightening contacts within the European researchers and control practitioners community. Especially important is that the colleagues from Central and East European countries have been pulled into those activities.
Secondly, the network has gathered together the groups working in classical approach to control of industrial systems and the groups interested in management for industrial manufacturing. This novel combination is now gaining recognition all over the world. DYCOMANS group was one of the first to work in this area and certainly the effort is worth a continuation.
Thirdly, the software tools for the modelling and simulation of
industrial and manufacturing processes have been encouraged through
the Network activities. Many of the groups involved with the network
have gained a significant experience on use of software tools
for high quality and efficient system design. This includes the
industrial partners who were provided access to professional software
tools and training and awareness raising meetings. On the other
hand, the academic partners have benefited from industrial contacts
by acquiring familiarity with real industrial problems.
The Network has been effective in the transfer of technology and research results in several directions:
Looking at the world-wide trends in industrial automation and
management of manufacturing processes, the Steering Committee
believes that the DYCOMANS network is a very effective forum to
stimulate research in this area.
Boukas E.K., A. Swierniak and K. Simek, Linear and non-linear robust control of piecewise deterministic processes, Proc. of the joint Workshop of EURACO and DYCOMANS networks, Algarve, May 96.
Carrie A., Issues in design, management and modelling of manufacturing systems, Proc. of DYCOMANS special session at ACASP Symposium, Budapest, June 95.
Georgopoulos V.C. and P.P. Groumpos, Information representation and processing in an industrial environment, Proc. of DYCOMANS special session at ACASP Symposium, Budapest, June 95.
Gregor M., J. Kosturiak and E. Samkova, Some experience and development trends in the simulation of manufacturing systems, Proc. of DYCOMANS Workshop Industrial Control and Management Methods: Theory and Practice, Prague, Oct. 95.
Hadjiski M. and I. Kalaykov, Neural network based modelling and identification of parameter depending plants, Preprints of DYCOMANS Workshop Information Processing and Control in Power Generation, Varna, May 97
Hadjisky M. and M. Petkova, Cooling system control on the runout table of hot strip mill, Proc. of the joint Workshop of EURACO and DYCOMANS networks, Algarve, May 96.
Hearns G., G.M. van der Molen and M.J. Grimble, Hot strip mill mass flow control, Proc. of the joint Workshop of EURACO and DYCOMANS networks, Algarve, May 96.
Kadar B., S. Markos and L. Monostori, Knowledge based monitoring and management of manufacturing cells, Proc. of the joint Workshop of EURACO and DYCOMANS networks, Algarve, May 96.
Keviczky L. and Cs. Banyasz, On the dialectics of identification and control in iterative learning schemes, Proc. of the joint Workshop of EURACO and DYCOMANS networks, Algarve, May 96.
Kucera V., Algebraic methods in control theory and applications, Proc. of DYCOMANS Workshop Industrial Control and Management Methods: Theory and Practice, Prague, Oct. 95.
Landau I.D., Robust digital control of systems with time delay, Proc. of the joint Workshop of EURACO and DYCOMANS networks, Algarve, May 96.
Music G. and D. Matko, Laboratory scale supervisory control system, Proc. of DYCOMANS Workshop Industrial Control and Management Methods: Theory and Practice, Prague, Oct. 95.
Moumdjian G., Advanced control systems for thermal power plants, Preprints of DYCOMANS Workshop Information Processing and Control in Power Generation, Varna, May 97
Ordys A. and M.A. Johnson, Software toolboxes in simulation and control of power systems, Preprints of DYCOMANS Workshop Information Processing and Control in Power Generation, Varna, May 97
Petropoulakis L. and L. Giacomini, Interfacing continuous-time and discrete-event simulation systems for manufacturing processes, Proc. of DYCOMANS Workshop Industrial Control and Management Methods: Theory and Practice, Prague, Oct. 95.
Petropoulakis L., L. Giacomini and A. W. Ordys, Total simulation in manufacturing- initial implementation and first tests, Proc. of DYCOMANS special session at ACASP Symposium, Budapest, June 95.
Reid S.P. and S.K. Banerjee, Information infrastructure for production planning and control systems, Proc. of DYCOMANS Workshop Industrial Control and Management Methods: Theory and Practice, Prague, Oct. 95.
Santarek K. and I.M. Buseif, An approach to manufacturing systems design using Sadt and Petri net tools, Proc. of DYCOMANS Workshop Industrial Control and Management Methods: Theory and Practice, Prague, Oct. 95.
Santarek K. and Z. Szumanski, Computer integrated manufacturing systems in small business and medium sized enterprises, Proc. of DYCOMANS Workshop Industrial Control and Management Methods: Theory and Practice, Prague, Oct. 95.
Shpilewski E., Recognition of dynamic systems structure for intelligent control, Proc. of the joint Workshop of EURACO and DYCOMANS networks, Algarve, May 96.
Stefanik J., B. Micieta and J. Rebetak, Production control systems for small and medium sized enterprises, Proc. of DYCOMANS Workshop Industrial Control and Management Methods: Theory and Practice, Prague, Oct. 95.
Swierniak A. and K. Simek, Robust control of linear systems with fault-prone structure, Preprints of DYCOMANS Workshop Information Processing and Control in Power Generation, Varna, May 97
Szelke E. and L. Monostori, Intelligent manufacturing with reactive/proactive scheduling and learning for dynamic operation management, Proc. of DYCOMANS Workshop Industrial Control and Management Methods: Theory and Practice, Prague, Oct. 95.
Toffner-Clausen, P. Andersen and T. Knudsen, Robust nonlinear control of a 400kW wind turbine, Proc. of the joint Workshop of EURACO and DYCOMANS networks, Algarve, May 96.
Wisniewski R. and M. Blanke, Attitude control for magnetic actuated satellite, Proc. of the joint Workshop of EURACO and DYCOMANS networks, Algarve, May 96.
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