In recent years, new networked communication and control technologies have been developed and applied in production and processing plants. Considerable attention has also been paid to optimising the operation of the production machinery in desired manners. However, technological advancements have not only changed the machines but also the organization of work. In many cases, therefore, the total optimality, availability and cost efficiency during the machines’ life-cycle have not been considered. Efficiency improvement can be achieved by applying embedded automation middleware to manage complex networked machines and distributed resources.
The aim of this project is to promote research in the field of networked embedded control systems, and especially to develop theories and methods for condition monitoring, fieldbuses and networked control in production machines. It is intended to increase the intelligence level of production machines by networking and integrating the embedded systems of the machines into larger automation system entities. At the same time, new information- and communication techniques will be utilized to improve the interconnection between production machines and the control system. This will lead to the intensified use of production resources and, subsequently, to increased competitiveness of the industry.
The theory and methodology development covers the areas of networked control systems (Fieldbus networks), condition monitoring and fault diagnostics. All the theories are related to the integration and management of complex networked resources and the improvement of life-cycle information management of production machines.
The novelty of this research comes from developing theories to integrate complex networked industrial systems within embedded middleware automation, and further refining the information and connecting the system to other process or enterprise level systems. In addition, strong utilization of information and communication technologies for life-cycle scale asset management will be applied.
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