Automated identification of plant variants through process descriptions based on knowledge-based systems

  Brief description research topic Copyright: © IAT

In the process industry, the number of product variants is rising and product life cycles are decreasing. In addition, products are often produced at different locations worldwide, which means that the production specification is initially defined independently of the plant or resource. In this context, modular production and modular automation support the increasing adaptability in order to counteract the aforementioned challenges. However, this results in an increasingly manual transformation step from the resource-independent general recipe to the plant-specific master recipe. A starting point for achieving the transformation step to the plant-specific master recipe results from an identification and selection of plant variants.

A knowledge-based system enables to support the manual transformation step in the production environment, to reduce it or to automatically solve it. In addition to the knowledge representation and modeling, further constraints and prerequisites for the identification and selection can be considered. The requirements for the knowledge-based system are the interpretation of the process description, the expandability and changeability of the knowledge base, the identification, selection as well as the validation of plant variants. The architecture contains the interpretation, the processing and the knowledge base in which the capabilities and resource types are stored.

A capability is a description of an implementation-independent function, which achieves an effect in the physical or virtual world in industrial production, which for example is expressed in production process steps of the production specification. On the one hand, capabilities are required for the production of products, and on the other hand, these are provided by operating resources, which enables an alignment for a sequence of production steps.

The goal is to identify suitable plant variants from a knowledge base by module selection using capabilities and resource types for the realization of a process description. Using real modular plants, the approach for identifying particular plant variants from a process description will be validated and evaluated with the knowledge-based system.



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