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Tools for Object-based Large-Scale Reuse in Industrial Systems Design

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The goal of TORUS is to substantially improve the efficiency of the industrial control systems design life-cycle. TORUS aims to achieve this, via an integrated tool-set, by encouraging the reuse of project life-cycle processes and design information.

Typical automation projects have two closely integrated parts: the large electro-mechanical plant equipment, and the complex, distributed, real-time systems that control it. At the moment automation projects are developed by either adapting sections of designs from previous similar projects or creating from new. Analysis of this procedure has shown that:

- the manual nature of the work is a major constraint on achieving better design quality and lower costs
- the reuse of large-scale design structures, components and design procedures is possible, and if carried out systematically could greatly improve design efficiency
- other projects have demonstrated the potential for reuse in related domains (for example TOPMUSS (2255) for mathematical algorithms, DSDIC (2588) for PLC programs, REBOOT (5327) in general software and DtoP (UK Alvey Programme) for manufacturing.

TORUS intends to:

- identify and model information and design procedures used in existing "best practice" design
- devise life-cycle design processes that reuse standard components and procedures
- produce a generic information base to store and manage reusable design knowledge
- develop an integrated but open tool set that will encourage an efficient and systematic design life-cycle based on the reuse of standard information and processes
- provide simple interfaces to enable specialised design support tools to use TORUS reuse facilities
- provide context-sensitive design process to explain and guide application users through the reuse design procedures
- review and test the reuse models and tools against representative user applications

The EXPRESS standard modelling language will be used to describe the data model. The quality aspects of the design life-cycle will conform to the ISO 9000 standard. The SGML standard will be evaluated as a base for the representation of structured documents.

The industrial partners plan to realise these benefits by:

- introducing reuse-based design, initially in smaller projects and then progressively (over 2-3 years) in larger projects in other industrial domains
- exploit the concepts of TORUS by encouraging customers to be involved in the project design loop to improve the transfer of information and further reduce engineering costs
- promote software products based on or incorporating the TORUS tools developed.

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Cegelec Projects Ltd
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