The objective of OLCHFA is to provide a low-cost fieldbus system combining wireless LAN communications, time-critical distributed systems and fieldbus technology.
The aim has been to provide a fieldbus system which is able to operate transparently over either a wired or wireless medium there by providing flexibility depending on the particular application. The microwave wireless system uses spread-spectrum techniques to achieve the required resiliency. Although the OLCHFA architecture is designed using FIP components, the messaging service has been extended to accommodate true time-critical support and access to a synchronized time reference. Software tools are also being developed to assist the production of programs and configuration and management of the network.
Pilot demonstrations at two steel rolling mills are planned for mid-'94. The results from these pilot installations will be incorporated in products and services marketed by the consortium members.
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