The International Electro-technical Commission (IEC) has adopted the function block (FB) concept to define the IEC 61499 standard for the development of distributed industrial control applications. However, even though many researchers have been working during the last years to exploit this standard in factory automation, it is clear that the standard has a long way towards its adoption by the industry. Most practitioners are unfamiliar with the semantics of this standard and even more modifications and extensions are required to the model in order to be effectively used in the context of a process that will addresses the whole life cycle of factory automation systems. This paper surveys research results reported so far about the IEC 61499 model and attempts to highlight the inefficiencies of this paradigm to support the whole development process of distributed control applications as far as the software engineering point of view is considered. Open problems and future challenges are discussed as well.

Index terms—IEC 61499 Function Block Factory Automation Engineering Support System distributed control application 

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Copyright information

© Springer 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  • K. Thramboulidis
    • 1
  1. 1.Electrical & Computer EngineeringUniversity of Patras26500, PatrasGreece

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