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Flexible Automation and Integrated Manufacturing 1999

ISBN Druckformat: 978-1-56700-133-4



Automation solutions for manufacturing processes have no mass market. Engineering costs, therefore, are often far beyond the actual hardware costs. Special hardware has to be designed to meet computing power and I/O requirements. Traditional solutions estimate these requirements a priori leading to expensive oversized or unusable undersized systems. A design process as such often yields inflexible monolithic and not scaleable hardware. This paper introduces an object oriented hardware design paradigm that can greatly benefit from modularity, scaleability, reusability and shorter time to the market. The object oriented concept drastically reduces engineering costs as basic modular "objects" are used in place of static complex monoliths. It is shown that cost and time efficiency can already be highly influenced at the level of board hardware design. The paper gives also an example implementation of an object oriented hardware for signal processing purposes in industrial applications, e.g. vision systems. The presented hardware object is designed to be part of a whole "class library" comprising an industrial PC and I/O module series. The hardware system can be easily extended by adding new objects and offers natural flexibility in connecting the parts together. The paper clearly figures out how to save time and money using interconnected hardware objects rather than once used specialised circuitry.
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