A step forward in the definition of the E2comation software architecture has been marked, with a specification of the Modular and reconfigurable distributed automation and the Distributed Stream Computing platform for life-cycle data analytics.
The overall architecture of the E2COMATION project is composed by several subsystems, each aiming at the realization of specific set of functionalities that contribute to a coherent and coordinate management of the sustainability and energy optimization for the manufacturing industry.
All of these subsystems need to elaborate a big amount of information, the majority being extracted from the production environment. To this aim, they need to be integrated and complementary to the existing automation and management architecture of a company, in order to obtain energy-related information from any location of interest at the factory floor.
Such an information, combined with enterprise-wide information, enable them to analyse all relevant correlation of competing aspects in order to derive useful elements to drive the foreseen optimization.
Current automation technologies, which are mainly built on time-cycle-based PLCs, are perfectly suited for managing real-time interactions with the physical domain but are not conceived to exchange the data they manage with other subsystems, which could span from adjacent devices till the remote systems running in the IT domain.
To overcome this limit, the IEC-61499 standard for distributed automation is the choice adopted and sustained by the E2COMATION project, promoted as a new paradigm for monitoring and supervision platform and here implementing the twofold role:
- to provide a uniform environment for monitoring and control functionalities;
- to interface a variety of hardware oriented communication protocols.
On top of that, a middleware layer monitors the events captured from the factory environment and processes them “in motion”, detecting and analysing important patterns in order to immediately act, based on the process specifications.