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Asynchronous Communication Platform Concept to Coordinate Large-scale Industrial Processes

P. Kannisto and D. Hästbacka, "Asynchronous Communication Platform Concept to Coordinate Large-scale Industrial Processes", IFAC-PapersOnLine, vol. 51, no. 11, pp. 1403-1408, 2018. doi:10.1016/j.ifacol.2018.08.325

Note16th IFAC Symposium on Information Control Problems in Manufacturing INCOM 2018
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Research project(s): COCOP


Information systems; System architectures; System integration; Knowledge-based systems; Industry automation; Optimization problems


To save the environment and costs, there is a clear need to optimise and coordinate large-scale industrial processes, but the task is challenging. Complex plants may run multiple unit processes that are operated with separate control systems, although the processes are interdependent. Often, optimisation requires appropriate scheduling for both continuous processes and batch processes. These requirements of coordination, asynchronism and distributed operation are difficult to conform to with the current tools or systems. Therefore, to ease optimisation, this study suggests a communication platform concept. The platform enables the use of mathematical models to manage and utilise knowledge about production processes. To promote adaptation to actual business cases and their future evolution, the platform design emphasises asynchronism, loose coupling of optimisation modules and systems as well as distributed operation. This work has received particular motivation from copper and steel production, as they both require materials refinement in multiple separate but mutually dependent steps. Several contributions are presented for the platform: requirements, architecture design and two proofs of concept. The results suggest that the concept would bring considerable business value in industrial production.