Industrial Informatics and Automation (IIA)

Investigations into the potential of distributed intelligent control architectures in industrial application areas.

Our fundamental research topics and expertise include:

  • Function block architecture IEC 61499 for distributed measurement and control systems
  • Holistic and cyber-physical approach to the design of complex distributed automation systems
  • Simulation of complex distributed systems
  • Agent-based architectures and bio-inspired control in complex industrial infrastructures.
    Intelligent mechatronics
  • Formal semantics of distributed systems
  • Embedded hardware/software platforms for intelligent distributed control
  • Networked control systems and wireless sensor networks
  • Formal verification by model-checking and automatic test generation
  • Software for visual development of automation systems

Previous research applications have included the following areas:

  • Modular material handling systems, in particular airport Baggage Handling Systems (BHS)
  • Energy generation and distribution, SmartGrid
  • Manufacturing and assembly
  • Agriculture and food processing
  • Machining and Computer Numeric Control
  • Smart energy saving homes
  • Smart mechatronic modules

A number of companies currently support our research and teaching activities by providing the use of advanced commercial tools.

Industrial Informatics and Automation Laboratory

Our world-leading laboratory allows the development and testing of new concepts for the control of distributed automation systems within the context of Industrial Internet of Things and cloud computing.

We develop prototypes of the "next generation" controllers that will be easy to program and reprogram using new language of function blocks. These controllers will be embedded to machines and their components, such as motors and sensors that "talk" to each other via wireless networks.

The laboratory is equipped with a model modular of flexible manufacturing system controlled by the new generation controllers compliant with the new function block standard (IEC 61499). We apply these new control ideas to baggage handling systems, SmartGrid, assembly, and more.