The goal of this project is to develop a reusable software architecture
(framework) for the process automation of hot rolling mills. Currently process
automation is rewritten from scratch for every new rolling mill in spite
of the fact that up to 70% of such systems could be reused. Using our framwork,
new process automation systems can be developed by customizing this framework
to the special needs of a particular rolling mill. This will cut down the
software development costs by 40-60% and will give European manufacturers
a clear advantage over their competitors on both time to market and quality.
Frameworks are a promising application of object-oriented technology that
promote the reuse, extensibility and maintainability of software. Frameworks
are well established in the area of system software (graphical user interfaces,
editors, operating systems) but hardly used for industrial projects so far.
The application of framework technology to an industrial domain is one of
the novel aspects of this project.
The proposers have been selected in order to maximize the outcome of the
project by contributing the following complimentary skills:
Domain knowledge in process automation systems (UNI SOFTWARE PLUS,
Johannes Kepler University Linz) and especially for rolling mills (Mandator
AB, Siemens AG, VA Stahl GmbH).
Techniques like machine learning and constraint logic programming
/UNI SOFTWARE PLUS, Mandator AB).
Software Engineering knowledge, especially experience in the development
of frameworks, design patterns and components (Johannes Kepler University
Linz, University of Hamburg, Siemens AG).
Skills in modelling software development processes (University of
Project will follow the guidelines of the ISO 9000 standard. The main deliverables
are a framework for process automation of a hot rolling mill, a sample process
automation system derived from the framework, as well as enhanced and new
concepts, technical guidelines, and tools that support the process of framework
development and adaptation.
The industrial partners (Mandator AB, Siemens AG, UNI SOFTWARE PLUS, Voest
Alpine Stahl GmbH) are not only developmers but also users in this project.
This guarantees that the framework will be developed according to user needs.
It will also leed to an immediate exploitation of the results by the industrial
partners. Exploitation will already begin in the last phase of the project
when the framework will be used to derive a process automation system according
to a client specification. This will verify the usability and soundness
of the framework.
The project consists of four work packages. The first package is the kernel
of the project. The other packages implement supporting measures which are
necessary to achieve and exploit the results of Work Package 1.