Nowadays, accomplishing real time information applications is one of the goals that customers are looking for in the market. Furthermore, two essential features are required in this society to ensure the success of these applications: reusability and interoperability. The new standard of Function blocks [FB] is one efficient way to reach them. This new standard, whose use has considerably increased, consists of a large number of functionalities divided into distributed shorter codes. In fact, that is why function blocks are different from other programming languages: it works with short distributed functionalities interconnected among them. Therefore, for this reason function blocks are used in distributed automation systems. The function block standard is formally specified in IEC 61499, for distributed Industrial Process Measurement and Control Systems (IPMCS). It is worth of mentioning that function blocks design is usually carried out graphically (interconnecting data and events within a FB network), whose clarity and easiness are always significant requirements, as in any visual system. On the other hand, web-based application development is getting more and more common during the last years because of its efficiency, portability and flexibility. It also provides many advantages to users, in real-time monitoring, real-time manufacturing, or even remote control. These are what companies are looking for in the 21st century. Nevertheless, combining web-based programming with function blocks can be the key to companies’ success. This project consists of implementing a web-based function block environment for IEC 61499 compliant control systems development. It would be a proper way to meet the above mentioned customer requirements (efficiency, portability, flexibility, reusability and interoperability). The main objective of the five-month project is to develop a web-based function block environment with a user-friendly graphical interface. The challenges include: - Carrying out research on Function Blocks and its run-time environment. - Implementing an easy-to-use graphical interface for creating, saving and editing different types of function blocks (basic FB, composite FB and applications). - Introducing iconic design and visual presentation of function blocks and connections via drag-and-drop. - Developing an application to generate eXtensible Markup Language (XML) files, allowing the exchange of files between different tools and devices of different vendors. This web-based function block environment will be used at Volvo Cars and Sandvik AB as a part of a big research program. It is anticipated that the function block environment will be extended and applied to a real-time decision support system for walking workers where important events or tasks will be distributed to the right person at the right time.
2012. , 62 p.