Engineering of IoT Automation Systems

University dissertation from Luleå University of Technology

Abstract: Major societal challenges such as environmental sustainability, availability of energy and raw materials, and globalisation are creating new requirements for many actors in society. These new requirements relate to efficiency, flexibility, sustainability, and competitiveness. While these aspects have all been around for some time, and many systems have been locally optimised with regards to one or a few of these requirements, recent advances in communication and processing capabilities promise increased possibilities for connecting different parts of society, allowing optimal operation on a much larger scale.While industrial production systems have been controlled electronically for decades, the digitisation of market channels and consumer systems, together with the possibility to interconnect different production facilities, now allow for automated interaction along the whole supply chain from raw materials to end users.Simultaneously, increased demand for efficiency forces increased specialisation among actors, which with increased possibilities of interconnectivity, creates large enterprises of cooperating, specialised stakeholders.One of the major remaining obstacles for a widespread adaptation of more intelligent, more connected systems, able to deliver these envisioned results, is a coherent approach to the engineering and management of Systems-of-Systems involving very large numbers of devices and operating across several automation domains.For traditional automation systems there are established engineering procedures and numerous standards for engineering data, although most are focused on the static processes that have traditionally been the norm. For full integration with a digital society many of the existing automation systems will need significant modifications and as many automation systems are ageing and in need of replacement, a suitable solution to this may be a large scale migration to new automation solutions.The work presented in this thesis includes some new approaches and methodologies to utilise the existing engineering procedures and standards, while introducing some of the flexibility proposed by the emerging technologies. The major technical solutions presented consist of a structure way to organise connected systems and how they are related, regardless of engineering standards used to design their interactions, and an approach to allow configuration of heterogeneous systems through service interactions.Further contributions include an approach for migrating certain categories of existing industrial control systems to a service oriented architecture, as a basic outline for adaption of the next generation of automation systems in industry.Certain remaining challenges have been identified, which have to be addressed for a successful launch of widespread interconnected automation systems based on Internet of Things and associated technologies.

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