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Improving Development of Communication Software in Industrial Control Systems using Simulation
Mälardalen University, School of Innovation, Design and Engineering, Embedded Systems. RISE SICS Västerås. (School of Innovation, Design and Engineering)
2017 (English)Licentiate thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

In the industrial domain customers expect a product longevity of 10-20 years, with high reliability and availability. Since industrial distributed control systems often are safety critical, aspects such as determinism, low latency and jitter are crucial. More and more industrial systems are becoming connected to the Internet, since end customers are requiring e.g. business intelligence and diagnostic information, anywhere at any time. Industrial systems that traditionally have been isolated are now facing entirely new challenges that will require new competences and ways of working. Introducing a new type of network in the industrial domain is a big investment, with high risks, often lacking known best practices. Time to market with sufficient quality is of high importance. A lot of time is spent on isolated activates, such as, simulations, updating tools, collecting requirements, design, coding, debugging, documentation, creating testbeds, validation and reviews. Therefore, there is a need to improve the efficiency when moving between the research and development phases for several reasons, e.g., integrate innovative research findings into industrial systems, shorten time to market, and improve product quality. This thesis focuses on improving efficiency during research and development of communication software. First, network evaluation methods are studied, and key industrial challenges are identified. For example, despite a huge research effort on network simulators and virtualization, there are still challenges that need to be addressed, in order for increased industrial benefits. Secondly, this thesis propose a flexible communication stack design that supports different run-time behaviors, from real-time operating system to bare-metal systems without an operating system, and different types of communication protocols, from real-time to non-real-time. Finally, this thesis propose a set of key features from network simulators, that are implemented and used as a case study in a research project. These contributions lead to simplification and increased automation, hence reducing the amount of manual work during research and development.

Abstract [sv]

Inom industrin förväntar sig slutkunderna att produkterna har en livslängd på 10–20 år med hög tillförlitlighet och tillgänglighet. De flesta industriella styrsystem automatiserar säkerhetskritiska processer. Detta gör att aspekter som förutbestämt beteende med små fördröjningar och variationer är avgörande för att skydda person, miljö och egendom. Trender som den nya digitaliseringen, sakernas internet, molnet, 5G, maskininlärning och artificiell intelligens, bidrar till att antalet styrsystem som ansluts till Internet ökar. Ökningen beror mycket på att slutkunder börjar förvänta sig nya tjänster, samt tillgång till affärs- och diagnostikinformation även utanför arbetsplatserna. Att introducera nya kommunikationslösningar inom industrin är ofta en stor investering. Riskerna är oftast höga samtidigt som befintliga kommunikationsteknologier och protokoll behöver stödjas även i framtiden. Att få ut produkterna snabbt på marknaden med bibehållen kvalitet är av stor betydelse. Under forsknings- och utvecklingsarbete spenderas mycket tid på isolerade aktiviteter som till exempel simuleringar, uppdateringar av verktyg, insamling av krav, design, programmering, felsökning, dokumentation, testning och granskningar. Att snabbt byta mellan dessa aktiviteter är ofta inte helt enkelt, på grund av att olika metoder och verktyg inte automatiskt kan utbyta eller överföra information. Fokus i denna avhandling är att förbättra effektiviteten vid forskning och utveckling av kommunikationsmjukvara. Effektiviteten är viktig av flera skäl, till exempel att snabbt integrera nya och innovativa forskningsresultat, snabbare nå marknaden med produkter och förbättra produktkvalitet. Initialt studeras olika metoder för att utvärdera kommunikationsfunktionalitet. Metodernas användbarhet kartläggs i förhållande till aktiviteter under forsknings- och utvecklingsarbete, samt viktiga industriella utmaningar identifieras. Trots stora forskningsinsatser inom nätverkssimulatorer, emulatorer och virtualisering, så finns det fortfarande utmaningar kvar för ökad användbarhet och nytta inom industrin. Vidare föreslås en flexibel kommunikationsstackdesign som stöder olika typer av egenskaper och implementationer, från realtidsoperativsystem till enheter helt utan operativsystem, samt olika typer av kommunikationsprotokoll, från realtid till icke-realtid. Slutligen föreslås en reducerad uppsättning nyckelfunktioner till nätverkssimulatorer, vilka implementerats och använts i en fallstudie i ett forskningsprojekt. Dessa bidrag tillsammans medför en förenkling och ökad automatisering vilket gör att mängden manuellt arbete minskar under forsknings- och utvecklingsarbete.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Västerås: Mälardalen University , 2017.
Series
Mälardalen University Press Licentiate Theses, ISSN 1651-9256 ; 266
National Category
Computer Sciences
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:mdh:diva-37212ISBN: 978-91-7485-360-5 (print)OAI: oai:DiVA.org:mdh-37212DiVA: diva2:1154799
Presentation
2017-12-20, Kappa, Mälardalens högskola, Västerås, 13:15 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Available from: 2017-11-06 Created: 2017-11-05 Last updated: 2017-11-17Bibliographically approved
List of papers
1. Challenges from research to deployment of industrial distributed control systems
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Challenges from research to deployment of industrial distributed control systems
2017 (English)In: IEEE International Conference on Industrial Informatics (INDIN), 2017, 68-73 p.Conference paper, Published paper (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

A trend in the industrial domain is that the networks are growing and becoming more complex, this is further accelerated by the digitalization trend. In order to address this, there is a need to improve the efficiency when moving between the R&D phases. For example, integrate innovative research findings into industrial systems, shorten time to market, improve product quality and reduce the number of issues. Despite a huge research effort on network simulators and emulators there are still some issues that needs to be addressed. This paper presents challenges that needs to be resolved, in order for the industry to adopt and benefit from using network simulators and emulators. The major challenges streamlining the workflow in and between the different R&D phases while preserving the real-time aspects in the entire industrial distributed control system.

Keyword
Complex networks, Control systems, Distributed parameter control systems, Industrial systems, Integrate innovative, Network simulators, Real time aspects, Research efforts, Time to market, Industrial research
National Category
Electrical Engineering, Electronic Engineering, Information Engineering
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:mdh:diva-34987 (URN)10.1109/INDIN.2016.7819136 (DOI)2-s2.0-85012904215 (Scopus ID)9781509028702 (ISBN)
Conference
14th IEEE International Conference on Industrial Informatics, INDIN 2016, 19 July 2016 through 21 July 2016
Available from: 2017-03-06 Created: 2017-03-06 Last updated: 2017-11-05Bibliographically approved
2. A flexible communication stack design for time sensitive embedded systems
Open this publication in new window or tab >>A flexible communication stack design for time sensitive embedded systems
2017 (English)In: Proceedings of the IEEE International Conference on Industrial Technology, 2017, 1112-1117 p.Conference paper, Published paper (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

Trends like Internet of Things (IoT), 5G and Cloud are pushing for device connectivity to the Internet, which affects industrial embedded systems with e.g., an increase in code base and functionality. Due to different application requirements, there are relative little reuse between embedded systems with different run-time context (from super loop to multi-threaded), and different types of communication (best effort and real time). In order to improve code reuse and changeability, we propose a flexible communication stack design, that can be configured for time sensitive communication with a real-time operating system (RTOS), or configured for best effort communication with either a super loop or an operating system (OS). Experiments demonstrate the flexibility and simplicity of the design with different configurations, e.g., super loop, single threaded, multi-threaded. Measurements show that the variations in performance related to run-time context scales as expected. 

National Category
Embedded Systems
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:mdh:diva-35633 (URN)10.1109/ICIT.2017.7915518 (DOI)000404252400184 ()2-s2.0-85019610278 (Scopus ID)9781509053209 (ISBN)
Conference
2017 IEEE International Conference on Industrial Technology, ICIT 2017, 23 March 2017 through 25 March 2017
Available from: 2017-06-09 Created: 2017-06-09 Last updated: 2017-11-05Bibliographically approved
3. Custom simulation of Industrial Wireless Sensor and Actuator Network for improved efficiency during Research and Development
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Custom simulation of Industrial Wireless Sensor and Actuator Network for improved efficiency during Research and Development
2017 (English)Conference paper, Published paper (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

Trends like the Cloud, Internet of Things and 5G are pushing for an increase in connectivity, but, introducing a new type of network in an industrial distributed control system is a big investment with high risks. Time to market with sufficient quality is crucial. However, when getting through the Research and Development (R&D) phases, a lot of time is spent on isolated activates, e.g., simulations, collecting requirements, design, coding, debugging, creating testbeds, and performing various tests. Therefore, there is a need to improve efficiency when moving between the R&D phases. For verification and validation of communication software, the most common network evaluation method in industry are real testbeds, mostly since a testbed can be very similar to the deployed system. Testbeds are, however, hard to debug and costly to maintain. Other network evaluation methods like simulators, have some strengths that testbeds are lacking, like repeatability, control over the network, and lower cost. However, code from simulators can seldom be reused, especially in industrial time-sensitive target systems, due to different abstraction levels, run-time behavior and system timing. This paper presents findings from a case study that targets improved efficiency, getting from research theories, to deployed devices in a homogeneous Industrial Wireless Sensor and Actuator Network (IWSAN). We propose a small subset of network simulators features which eases changeability, reuse, and debugging of communication software. The selected simulator features are evaluated with a proof of concept implementation that is customized to a research platform. The findings indicate improved efficiency when moving back and forth between activities in different R&D phases.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
IEEE, 2017. 8 p.
National Category
Computer Sciences
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:mdh:diva-37210 (URN)
Conference
IEEE International Conference on Emerging Technologies and Factory Automation, Limassol, Cyprus, September, 2017
Available from: 2017-11-05 Created: 2017-11-05 Last updated: 2017-11-20Bibliographically approved

Open Access in DiVA

The full text will be freely available from 2017-11-29 08:00
Available from 2017-11-29 08:00

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Ericsson, Niclas

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