Generation of STEP AP214 models from discrete event systems for process planning and control
Journal article, 2008
The aim of this paper is to show how the international standard STEP-AP214 can be used for communication and storing of process specifications. Even though there are several software tools available for the generation of both product and resource information systems, there is still a lack of tools related to the STEP standard for producing process information, e.g., sequence of operations and system capabilities for resource allocation. Therefore, such a tool is suggested, which makes use of a high-level language for discrete-event systems based on process algebra and Petri nets. This language, called process algebra Petri net), has been developed in accordance with the process relations defined in STEP-AP214. More specifically, it is shown how process specifications created with the PPN tool can be mapped to the STEP AP-214 format. Note to Practioners-Rapidly changing market needs is making demands on flexibility and ability to shorten lead times. Standards for exchanging information, as well as formal methods for automatic development of programmable controller code have been important research topics for many years. There are a lot of software tools available for the generation of both product- and resource information, but there is still a lack of tools for producing process information. Moreover, the connection between information exchange standards and such tools is absent, which makes the development of programmable controller code an isolated activity. This activity is often time consuming and performed in an ad hoc manner resulting in unnecessary production delay. The aim of this paper is to show how the international standard STEP-AP214 (a standard for exchange of product-, process-, and resource related information) can be used for communicating and storing process specifications. In order to achieve this, a tool which makes use of a formal high-level language is suggested. This tool can be used for automatic control generation and has been developed in accordance with the process relations defined in STEP-AP214. A further aim is to shown how the mentioned tool can be used to specify complex systems in a compact, yet highly readable manner, which is a crucial incentive for industry to use formal methods. The presented method will guarantee-that expected information is delivered quickly and without errors caused by the human factor, something that is very important in our ambition to achieve shortened lead times. The quick information exchange also makes it possible to perform simulation, supervisor synthesis, and verification early in the development phase. This is a first attempt at using a formal language for creating a tool that can automatically generate specifications in accordance with the international STEP-standard.