Software Development for Manufacturing Systems- Language and Networking Issues
We have witnessed unprecedented changes in the industrial world with the advent of computers and the field of manufacturing is no exception. With the boom of microcomputers, th eir usage in manufacturing systems was realized at every level- from the shop floor level to the administrative and management layers. This paper deals with the software development issues that a software engineer has to take into account when analyzing, designing, and implementing software for manufacturing systems. Two important criteria that one has to consider are the real-time requirements and the device indepemdent abstractions that such software has to provide to the end-user, since it is reasonable to expect an end-user to know very little about the software intricacies. Two specific aspects of manufaturing software are discussed indetail here. The first part discusses a language with an object oriented flavor for programming manufacturing systems. In particular, some of the design aspects and implementation issues are discussed. The other part describes the networking issues that are specific ot the manufaturing environment. A prototype manufacturing system developed as a part of the p roject is used as a model to explain the various concepts and issues. A detailed description of the new language, Cell Programing Language (CPL), developed for the prototype is also included.