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Distributed Rulebases For Real Time Process Control On The Shop Floor: The Metadatabase Approach


Integrating real-time process control systems for material handling and other activities on the manufacturing shop floor is a key to highly automated factories. The iintegration must satisfy two basic requirements: adaptiveness and scalability. In particular, the real time systems need to have an architecture of integration that is responsive to changes and can be re-programmed on the fly. They also should be made compatible with enterprise-level databases. Theses requirements still present problems to the integration technology. A case in point is real time material handling in automated porcelain plate production. A solution to some of the problems is developed in this paper, using the Metadatabase Model (Hsu and Rattner, 1990; Hsu et. al., 1991; Hsu et. al., 1992). It entails (1) a(cluster of)central rulebase(s)structured as metadatabases for the integration environment; (2) a distributed rule-based shell sysem implementing the control knowledge contained in the rulebase(s)for individual real time processes; and (3) an execution model managing the the global knowledge and these shells. The original metadatabase model is extended to allow for both database integration and real time process integration. A particular software method, the real time rule-oriented programming environment (RT ROPE), is devised to provide a unifying core method to the whole enterprise, and thereby facilitate scalability and adaptiveness.


viu.eng.rpi.edu is hosted by Professor Cheng Hsu.
Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute
Department of Industrial and Systems Engineering (formally Decision Sciences & Engineering Systems)
110 8th St., Center for Industrial Innovation, Room 5123, Troy, NY 12180-3590

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