Developing a CASE tool for distributed control applications

Original Article


The function block (FB) concept has been adopted by recent International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) standards to define a methodology for the development of modular, re-usable, open, and vendor-independent distributed control applications. Control engineers are already familiar with the FB construct, and field devices and fieldbuses are expected to be compliant with this approach in the near future. New generation FB-oriented CASE tools are required to support the whole development process. This paper presents an approach to the design and development of an IEC-compliant CASE tool (ICT). The proposed approach is based on a four-layer architecture that successfully unifies the FB concept with the Unified Modelling Language. During the development of our prototype ICT, this architecture proved to be very significant for the identification of the key abstractions that the ICT must provide as building blocks of its various diagrams used during the modelling process of control systems.


IPMCS CASE tool Distributed control applications Function block Engineering support system (ESS) IEC 61499 



This work was supported in part by the Greek General Secretariat for Research and Technology.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag London Limited 2004

Authors and Affiliations

  • Kleanthis C. Thramboulidis
    • 1
  • Chris S. Tranoris
    • 2
  1. 1.Electrical and Computer EngineeringUniversity of PatrasPatrasGreece
  2. 2.Electrical and Computer EngineeringUniversity of PatrasPatrasGreece

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