Ada Used to Develop a Manufacturing Process Supervisor Manufacturing Process Supervisor

Form U127-0394 MANUFACT.TXT

Ada Information Clearinghouse, 1-800-AdaIC-11 (232-4211), 703/685-1477

Ada Used to Develop a Manufacturing Process Supervisor

Started in 1980, Delta Technologies dedicates itself to technical and industrial software engineering. Its activities mainly include the supplying of real-time systems and services for industrial automation and address the worldwide needs of many sectors such as farm industry, chemistry, mechanics, electronics, building trade, car industry, aeronautics and nuclear.

Delta Technologies recently released the last version of its manufacturing process supervisor, OSCAR II, which enables the control and management of every type of manufacturing process. A real-time display , through OSF-Motif, provides data on the machines' condition and on the coordination of the overall process. This enables accurate control and analysis of current situations and trends. OSCAR II also has both simulation functionality and an alarm management. It has been designed to communicate with every type of automated machines, regulators and data acquisition systems through standard networks (Ethernet, Mod Bus) or specific protocols.

Following the Object-Oriented Programming method, the development took two man years and was based on VAX/VMS and HP UNIX series 400. Two major requirements had to be met: first, OSCAR II had to answer to the increasing diversity of platforms and operating systems in the marketplace; and second, the complexity of manufacturing process required the highest safety in process control with the cheapest way to maintain the software system.

"Ada is the only industrial language which meets these constraints" states Jean-Pierre PELLET, Technical Manager of OSCAR II. And he adds "Our application required a high level of safety and Ada provided us with the rigor we needed to develop with high reliability". Thanks to the Object-Oriented Programming, Delta Technologies benefitted from both the advantages of Ada readability and maintainability: the natural clarity of the language was a key factor in assuring reasonable maintenance cost. At the same time, such a development method enabled developers to sharply curtail the integration phase. Finally, Ada as a standard, guaranteed by itself the portability of the application on current and future platforms; the port from HP to Micro VAX only needed a few numeric-type modifications. Thinking of the future, "It guarantees the product longevity" points out Mr. PELLET.

90% of the application, including the real-time database of the system, has been developed with Ada. The rest, "Oscar Access library", which is a standard interface connecting OSCAR II to other kinds of production management software has been written in C.

Delta Technology chose the Alsys compiler AdaWorld for HP 9000/ series 400 and Alsys services to undertake the OSCAR II project. Alsys trained one of Delta people who then briefed other Delta developers on site. "As a whole, the compiler did a very good job and our relation with Alsys is more than satisfactory" comments Jean-Pierre PELLET.

Today, Mr. PELLET and his colleagues are very positive about their future with both Alsys and Ada; plans are under way to improve current OSCAR II functionality and to port the application on new hardware and Operating Systems. There again, Ada modularity is going to enable the expected improvements with minimized cost for additional developments. In addition, the Ada 9X object-oriented functionality is going to be more than welcome.

Thanks to Jean-Pierre PELLET from Delta Technologies for presenting his experiences with Alsys Ada.

For further information, please contact:

Marie-France Mignon and Florence Lescroart
Alsys SA
29 Avenue Lucien Reni Duchesne
78 170 La Celle-Saint-Cloud
Tel:      + 33 30 78 17 17
     + 33 30 78 17 40
     + 33 30 78 17 48
Fax: + 33 39 18 26 80

Reprinted with Permission of Alsys, Inc


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