Evaluation of Fieldbus and Software Component Technologies for Use with Advanced Life Support 2001-01-2299
Industrial process control has been dominated by closed architectures and proprietary protocols for the last three decades. In the late 1990’s, the advent of open fieldbus and middleware standards has greatly changed the process control arena. Fieldbus has pushed control closer and closer to the process itself. Middleware standards have exposed real-time process data to higher level software applications. Control systems can now be designed to minimize the reconfiguration costs associated with design changes. How can Advanced Life Support (ALS) benefit from these technologies? We consider designing the control system for the BIO-Plex and evaluate how complex it will be, the effort it will require, and how much it will it cost.
Various fieldbus technologies were compared and Foundation Fieldbus was chosen for detailed evaluation. This new fieldbus was integrated with an existing ALS system. OLE (Object Linking and Embedding) for Process Control (OPC) was used to serve data to subscribing applications (control, archiving, operator interface, etc.) Various metrics were established to quantify the costs of hardware integration, software development, and system reliability. Software effort was measured using the feature points approach.