Industrial companies are nowadays confronted with a difficult challenge on the global market. In order to succeed, they have to fabricate high-quality products based on consumer demands with short manufacturing periods at low costs. This challenge affects various domains including process industries. Some fields of process industries such as the petrochemical industries rely on historically grown systems with long life-spans. However, other sectors as for example pharmaceutical and biotechnological industries require flexible production facilities. By applying Batch Processes and modifiable recipes, small amounts of highly differentiated products can already be created.
Even though the applied processes are suitable for a flexible production, the used automation systems are still based on classical approaches that do not support easy modifications concerning their functionality. New control architectures are therefore necessary to further emphasize the gains of flexible production facilities.
Hence, a concept of a new control system for Process Automation has to be developed to meet these demands. To become acquainted with Process Automation, a survey presented in this thesis delivers the requirements and conditions of the target domain. Technical standards as well as existing engineering methods are therefore examined. Moreover state-of-the-art control concepts, that might be used or modified to design the control architecture, are analyzed in regard to the domain of Process Automation.
Based on the survey, this thesis introduces a new Distributed Control Architecture for Process Automation. This architecture is composed of Mechatronic Control Components with software elements based on the technical standard IEC 61499. Furthermore an intuitive engineering method for the development of applications is presented and used to convert a Control Recipe into an IEC 61499 Application.
Finally an actual implementation on a laboratory process plant is performed to evaluate the control architecture as well as the engineering method. This examination reveals certain gains and problems which are discussed to determine any practical impact and possible future research topics.