Industrial Communication Systems

Research activities on (real-time) industrial communication systems are mainly oriented to the study, performance analysis and experimentation of existing technologies to interconnect intelligent devices at the field and cell levels in automation systems and factory environments.
Studies are also in progress, that focus on peculiar aspects of industrial networks and protocols, and concern the definition and development of proposals aimed at either enhancing their performance or overcoming known limitations. In this framework, special attention is paid to the national and international standardisation activities, in general, and to well-assessed and widely available off-the-shelf solutions, such as those based on either legacy (fieldbuses) or recent (industrial Ethernet and wireless) communication technologies, in particular. Investigations are also carried out on synchronization mechanisms for distributed control systems and on the techniques for implementing real-time communications on conventional open-source s/w platforms.

Several application areas are considered, ranging from automotive applications to automated production plants, such as those adopted for electrical appliances or food production systems. A significant part of the research activity concerning real-time communications is carried out in cooperation with large Italian companies, SMEs and national and international universities and research institutions. The IEIIT Computer Engineering and Networks Group also takes active part into a number of standardisation committes as well manufacturers organisations and users groups.

Reaserch activities on industrial communication systems are carried out in the framework of the ICT Department Project "Networks and Protocols for Automation and Process Control" of the National Reasearch Council of Italy.