@Mydesign: You are right--the process is a major milestone, particularly in those industries where embedded systems lie at the heart of system designs. Beyond MATLAB and Simulink, any other tools that you are familiar with that are giving developers a jump on model-based design processes?
Beth, model based designing and prototyping are very important mile stones in any of the defence and avionic projects. Math lab and simulink are two major software's used for simulation purpose in engineering background. In most of the prototyping projects, spiral models are followed where blocks are building over the existing one in an incremental form.
Festo makes an excellent point here, and there are many, many other embedded developed who have the same dilemma: It's often difficult to optimize controller designs by building and testing on physical hardware. This article is going to be a keeper for many embedded developers.
Thanks Al. I could totally see how this design approach could have huge ramifications for easing the development burden around automation and controls machinery given the high content of software and the complex movements. From all accounts, it's a learning process, however, and a very different development approach than traditional engineering workflows. There is definitely a commitment required to get training for engineers, not just on the tools and software, but on the modeling work itself and how to best adapt it into design processes.
Beth, Excellent article. This approach has a ton of potential for transforming the way that automation/machinery is developed, designed and deployed. It will be interesting to see how this area develops with control vendors. There are some solutions in the marketplace now but this will require different planning and thinking in terms of the machinery development process to gain traction. Interesting.
For industrial control applications, or even a simple assembly line, that machine can go almost 24/7 without a break. But what happens when the task is a little more complex? That’s where the “smart” machine would come in. The smart machine is one that has some simple (or complex in some cases) processing capability to be able to adapt to changing conditions. Such machines are suited for a host of applications, including automotive, aerospace, defense, medical, computers and electronics, telecommunications, consumer goods, and so on. This discussion will examine what’s possible with smart machines, and what tradeoffs need to be made to implement such a solution.