After comparison with pascal and C, Ada was chosen because
it guarantees inexpensive and quality programming. The
reusability of Ada modules significantly cut down our times
and costs of development.
Software Products for Indutry
3ip, a company of 80 employees, dedicates itself to the development and the
marketing of software products as well as to the supplying of consulting and
auditing services in the industrial market. It has provided Citroen, the
French car maker, a system that enables Citroen's engineers to qualify and
maintain manufacturing process control systems without being connected to any
kind of machines.
With about 1,000 of these systems set up on high-technology
production lines each year, Citroen is now able to cut the time spent on
setting up new production plants. This is because the preparation of the
manufacturing control systems is no longer dependent on either the delivery or
the proper running of machines and programmed robots. In addition, Citroen is
able to improve the qualification of its manufacturing process control systems
without interrupting or interfering in the running of machines on production
Implementation of the Ada System
3ip developed a production line machine simulator written entirely in Ada.
This software, named SIMULA, can simulate the real-time operations of any
production machine and provides a description and an analysis of the behaviors
of the manufacturing process control systems simultaneously.
The simulator is connected to robots through a LAC network that allows
exchange of logical and analogical input/output as well as servo axles. The
system can handle 1,000 input/output using a set of three robots at a maximum.
Tests can be performed manually or automatically which eliminates the
necessity of the presence of an operator. The description part of the
software provides both manual descriptions realized with integrated tools and
the use of files that comes from CAD/CAM tools and which have been imported in
the SET Standard (Standard for Exchanges and Transfers) used within Citroen.
The simulation part of the software is performed on a VAX and the descriptive
part on PC/DOS. These platforms communicate through an Ethernet network. The
overall development totals 200,000 lines of code, developed by a nine-person
team spending fifteen man years to complete it.
Advantages of Using Ada
According to Philippe Pillon, Project Manager, "Ada was the appropriate
language to develop SIMULA. After a comparison with Pascal and C, Ada was
chosen because it guarantees an inexpensive and quality programming. For instance, the reusability of Ada modules significantly cut down our times and costs of development". In addition, he points out that the language rigor provides a much higher safety execution than other languages, which is a key advantage within the manufacturing process world.
Since their first successful experience with the Ada language and Alsys, 3ip
has plans to continue the partnership. Philippe Pillon states, "We are still developing our current projects in Ada and we will do so in the future." At the same time, he is looking forward to using Ada95' functionality in 3ip's new applications as soon as the technology is available in the marketplace.
Thanks to Philippe Pillon and Xavier Cusset from 3ip for presenting his
experience with Alsys Ada.
For further information, please contact:
Marie-France Mignon & Florence Lescroart
Alsys SA 29 Avenue Lucien Reni
78 170 La Celle-Saint-Cloud
Tel: + 33 30 78 17 17
+ 33 3D 78 17 40
+ 33 30 78 17 48
Fax: + 33 39 18 25 80