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Ada Flyer Ada Used To
Develop A Simulator
Run By Robots

After evaluating several other languages, including Pascal and C, Ada was chosen for the project because it guarantees inexpensive and quality programming. The reusability of Ada modules significantly cut down the time and cost of development.
3IP and Manufacturing Process Control
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.

The company has provided Citroen, the French car maker, with 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.

The savings are due to the fact that 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 quality 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. The software, named SIMULA, can simulate the real-time operations of any production machine and provides a description and analysis of the behaviors of the manufacturing process control systems simultaneously.

The simulator is connected to robots through a LAC network that allows the exchange of logical and analogical input/output, as well as servo axles. The system can handle 1,000 input/outputs, 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 feature of the software provides manual descriptions, realized with integrated tools and the use of files that comes from CAD/CAM tools that have been imported in the Standard for Exchanges and Transfers (SET) used within Citroen.

The simulation is performed on a VAX machine and the description on PC/DOS; the two 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 inexpensive and quality programming. For instance, the reusability of Ada modules significantly cut down our time and cost 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 language and Alsys tools, 3IP has plans to continue developing in Ada. 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.

For further information, contact:
Marie France Mignon and 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
Produced in cooperation with the AdaIC, Ada Software Alliance, and ACM SIGAda.

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.
Form U146

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