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Manufacturing Process Supervisor

The Developer
Started in 1980, Delta Technologies dedicates itself to technical and industrial software engineering. Its activities mainly include supplying real time systems and services for industrial automation and meeting the needs of companies around the world who are invloved in industries such as farming, chemistry, mechanics, electronics, construction, automobile, aeronautics, and nuclear.

The Manufacturing Process Supervisor

Delta Technologies recently released the last version of its manufacturing process supervisor, OSCAR II, which enables the control and management of every type of manufacturing process. A real time display , using OSF Motif, provides data on the machines' condition and on the coordination of the overall process. This feedback enables accurate control and analysis of current situations and trends. OSCAR II also includes features that provide simulation and alarm management functions. It has been designed to communicate with every type of automated machine, regulator, and data acquisition system through standard networks (Ethernet, Mod Bus) or specific protocols.

System Development

Following the Object Oriented Programming method, the system was developed by using the Alsys AdaWorld compiler for the HP 9000/ series 400. The project took two person-years to complete. 90% of the application, including the real time database of the system, has been developed with Ada. The rest, the "Oscar Access library", which is a standard interface connecting OSCAR II to other kinds of production management software, was written in C.

Two major requirements had to be met: first, OSCAR II had to meet the needs of a marketplace that uses an ever-increasing diversity of platforms and operating systems to operate; and second, it had to deliver the highest level of safety in process control and the cheapest means for its maintenance, in order to meet the requirements of the complex manufacturing process.

Language Choice

"Ada is the only industrial language that meets these constraints," states Jean Pierre Pellet, Technical Manager of OSCAR II. And he adds, "Our application required a high level of safety, and Ada provided us with the rigor we needed to develop with high reliability."

Thanks to the Object Oriented Programming method, Delta Technologies enjoyed the full benefits of Ada’s readability and maintainability; the natural clarity of the language was a key factor in assuring reasonable maintenance cost. At the same time, such a development method enabled developers to sharply curtail the integration phase. Finally, because the Ada language is standardized, the portability of the application on current and future platforms was garaunteed; the port from HP to Micro VAX only needed a few numeric type modifications. In terms of the future, "It guarantees product longevity," points out Mr. Pellet.

Using Ada in the Future

Today, Mr. Pellet and his colleagues are very positive about their future with both Alsys and Ada; plans are under way to improve current OSCAR II functionality and to port the application on new hardware and operating systems. In completing this task, Ada’s modularity is expected to produce significant improvements and additional developments for minimal cost. The company anxiously awaits Ada 95’s object oriented functionality.

For further information, contact:

Marie France Mignon and Florence Lescroart
Alsys SA
29 Avenue Lucien Reni Duchesne
78 170 La Celle Saint Cloud
Phone: + 33 30 78 17 17; + 33 30 78 17 40; + 33 30 78 17 48
Fax: + 33 39 18 26 80

Reprinted with permission from Alsys, Inc.

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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