Thursday, July 27, 2017

Accelerating machining processes

The MC-SUITE project proposes a new generation of ICT enabled process simulation and optimization tools enhanced by physical measurements and monitoring that can increase the competence of the European manufacturing industry, reducing the gap between the programmed process and the real part.

Automatization of the full machining process using ProActive workflows

Figure 1: The full machining process

The workflow controls the complete execution of all tools involved in the virtual machining process and automatically manages file transfers between tool executions. Figure 1 depicts the graphical representation of the orchestration xml file.Using dataspaces is crucial since tasks are submitted to ProActive nodes that could live remotely. Therefore, required files by a task must be placed in the scheduler dataspace to be automatically transferred to the running task temporary dir. To achieve that, ProActive provides dedicated tags (transferFromUserSpace, transferToUserSpace,...). Moreover, files will be referred from the task script using the file name, i.e. without specifying the path.

This workflow suffers from a lack of automatization. Indeed, the CAD task pops up a GUI, requiring parameters to be set for the Himill configuration file generation. This step breaks the full procedure automatization. To tackle that, we proposed an updated version of the workflow by first, migrating all the CAD parameters in the workflow parameters section. This can be easily achieved since the orchestration code follows the xml syntax, clearly separated from the functional code.
 removing the CAD task and the CAD installation path parameter. Then by adding a groovy section to dynamically generate the Himill configuration file according to the workflows parameters. Each task supports most of the main programming language, and we used Groovy which offers advanced methods to easily work with .ini files.

Friday, July 21, 2017

High Availability / Disaster Recovery Plan

Today let's discuss about high availability (HA) or more precisely disaster recovery plan (DRP).

As with any system, downtime can have major consequences for businesses. This quick article simply discuss two ways of achieving HA for ProActive.

Overall architecture

There are multiple ways for ProActive to be configured for High Availability (HA) / Disaster Recovery Plan (DRP).

  • ProActive stores its state within a database and includes an abstraction layer to configure the connection to a database. By default, the database is embedded within the ProActive folder. The objective is consequently to connect ProActive to a HA database (e.g. MariaDb can be configured this way, AWS RDS, ...)
  • The state being stored in an external database, it is important to monitor the behavior of ProActive. If it does not respond, it can be restarted which will then restart the scheduler, the diverse interfaces and connect to the database.

Below are two simple examples.

Monday, July 10, 2017

Introduction to Job Planner

Job Planner Methods

  • polling informations from other website,
  • updating regularly your data,
  • performing verifications and maintenance,
  • testing for new file in folder,
  • etc.

In this article, we will review these methods and go deeper into the latest one: the job planner.