Safecomp 2009 -- Day 3 GfSE and ICOSE joint meeting
The third day of Safecomp was a joint meeting with the German section of the International Council of System Engineering, ICOSE. Presentations were made showing formal structured modeling languages and techniques for producing repeatable system designs. Two of the examples were controlling the flow into a tank, and controlling the level in two adjacent tanks. This gave a "real world" flavor to the discussion, until it became apparent to me that there was a significant disconnect here. These design models are supposed to produce computer code for operating the control system, but they don't appear to interface with the physical design process, like mechanical drawings, civil/structural drawings and even P&IDs.
This kind of structured model-based design ought to be being pursued by the industries that use controls and automation, because once set up, it drastically cuts the cost of design. The aerospace companies like Airbus who are pushing this practice have already figured that out. As soon as there are interfaces from the model-based design software to the production software, Autocad and the like, this will be seriously hot stuff.