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Ada Flyer Ada in Citrogen Robots

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 lines.

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

Copyright 1998. IIT Research Institute
All rights assigned to the US Government (Ada Joint Program Office). Permission to reprint this flyer, in whole or in part, is granted, provided the AdaIC is acknowledged as the source.
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