Virtualization in process automationCopyright: © PLT
The increasing requirement for agile and dynamic production systems in context of of new automation paradigms such as Industry 4.0 requires new technologies and information models in various domains. Process near components are one of these domains that have to provide new functionalities. The proposed architecture in this research aims to provide control devices with new functionalities in order to adapt them to the requirements of future automation systems. The new architecture allows components to be separated and encapsulated into virtual machines according to their requirements (real-time, availability, security, etc.). These components are managed by a local management system that provides component management services. These services are used to manage communication between different components, dynamic deployment of new components and resource allocation. The components communicate to each other via a unidirectional communication. The main applications of the presented architecture are shown in the figure. The Control partition contains the traditional process control application. The Manager is the local management system. The Interface partition is the only partition that can communicate with external components. The O&M partitions perform local optimization and monitoring tasks. The required data for monitoring and optimization must be retrieved from the process control system (NAMUR diode). After processing a feedback is generated that must be sent to the process control (VoR). The research topic addresses the development of this architecture as well as the design and realization of these communications and management processes.