Validation methods for cost-effective, modular, industrial control systems
Sep. 01, 2008 to Aug. 31, 2010
Two key trends are shaping development of industrial control devices. Firstly, in future an array of small distributed units offering higher system variability will be developed to replace present-day large-scale centralized systems. Secondly, such units must satisfy much higher safety requirements and also pass higher certification criteria. To address these needs, the System Quality Center (SQC) of Fraunhofer FOKUS joined forces with an industry partner from the SME sector in the Vakoma project (validation methods for cost-effective, modular, industrial control systems) to develop decentralized modular architectures for control devices in compliance with IEC 61508, the standard governing safety requirements in electronic systems. The project focused on developing methods for the distribution of functional logic and on the use of appropriate communication structures for embedding subsystems with the aim of streamlining and simplifying production of documentary evidence of the function safety of control devices for the certification procedure. The project partners could draw on their work in the successful certification per EN 50155 in the railroad sector while SQC brought in its special know-how in the fields of computer architecture, failsafe performance and software quality. The Vakomo project was funded by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) in its ICT 2020 program.