Flexible run-time platform for steel production
Configuration instead of programming: development simplifies work processes of metallurgical experts
To optimize production processes in steel production, a run-time platform for process engineering computations was developed in a joint research project with Software Competence Center Hagenberg (SCCH), ABF Industrielle Automation GmbH and voestalpine Stahl GmbH.
In a joint research project with ABF Industrielle Automation GmbH and voestalpine Stahl GmbH, Software Competence Center Hagenberg developed a run-time platform for process engineering computations.
The goal of the research project was to enable a process simplification for experts in metallurgical research, who should be able to concentrate on process engineering tasks without being confronted with implementation-related details. The motto was “configuration instead of programming”.
Since November 2005 voestalpine Stahl GmbH has been using the platform in production for steel manufacture. Since then the platform has been continuously extended. In the future the platform will also support the creation of process engineering models without significant knowledge of any programming language.
One of the significant challenges was the requirement of continuous operation (24x7) and the resulting requirement that process engineering models can be exchanged without interrupting production (hot-plug capability). Another important requirement was abstraction of the data supply from the viewpoint of metallurgical process engineering.
DI Gerhard Leonhartsberger, SCCH Area leader of Software Engineering and Technology, explains some technical details: “After extensive research, the basis for realization became the OSGi standard. The platform built on this standard can be employed on almost any operating system without significant adaptation.”
The successful research project as well as the application of scientific methods for analysis, design, development and successful application of the run-time platform solidly prove the strength of the core competence Software Architectures and Technologies for Industrial Applications.