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Parallel and Distributed Processing Symposium, International (2001)
San Francisco, California, USA
Apr. 23, 2001 to Apr. 27, 2001
ISSN: 1530-2075
ISBN: 0-7695-0990-8
pp: 30094b
An emerging technology for distributed process control in the manufacturing industry is the IEC function block architecture (numbered 61499). Widespread deployment of this new technology in Intelligent Manufacturing Systems (IMS) is dependent upon how well the architecture supports reconfiguring tasks while satisfying the associated realtime constraints. However, function blocks without additional real-time facilities may be too limited for many IMS situations, since they do not explicitly represent time during the modification of their autonomous behaviour or when adjusting their cooperative interactions with other system entities. We are developing an operating system geared to the execution and management of function blocks, which supports dynamic reconfiguration in realtime. This operating sys-tem is a significantly different approach to other IEC 61499 platforms. An appropriate set of services in the operating system have been designed to facilitate runtime reconfiguration. The paper outlines how these services augment the realtime constraints in the IMS in order to enable the function blocks to perform varying degrees of reconfiguration on the fly. In this paper, we also present a worked example of how realtime reconfiguration can be supported in a suitable IMS scenario using the operating system. A 'proof of concept' prototype of the operating system is currently being developed at the University of Calgary.

M. Fletcher and D. H. Norrie, "Realtime Reconfiguration using an IEC 61499 Operating System," Parallel and Distributed Processing Symposium, International(IPDPS), San Francisco, California, USA, 2001, pp. 30094b.
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