ABB (1st Case)

Company Background

Asea Brown Boveri (ABB) is a leading global technology company and has two main business areas, the power and automation technology for utility and industry customers.

Products

ABB's power technology comprises, for instance, high- and medium-voltage products, transformers, and utility automation products. The automation technology branch comprises products such as control systems and robotics.

Platform

ABB gained plenty of experience with different software product lines. The first example is the ABB Gas Turbine Family, which covers the power range of 35 to 270 MW with five basic turbine types varying in size, combustion technologies, and equipment. The second example is the Semantic Graphics Framework. It supports the development of graphical applications that realise special requirements in the engineering domain. The third example is ABB's train control product line which is an embedded real-time software system for controlling train movement.

Experience

The experiences of ABB with the software product line approach are positive. The Semantic Graphics Framework has been in use for several years in different business units. More than ten industrial applications have been derived from it. The reference architecture of the turbine control system for the ABB Gas Turbine Family led to shorter development time, higher code quality, and eased the exchange of modules. For the train control product line, ABB expected significant quality improvements and savings when developing additional product line members.

References

  • C. Ganz and M. Layes; "Modular Turbine Control Software: A Control Software Architecture for the ABB Gas Turbine Family", In: Proceedings of the Second International ESPRIT ARES Workshop, Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, Springer LNCS 1429, 1998, pp. 32-38.
  • A. Rösel; "Experiences with the Evolution of an Application Family Architecture", In: Proceedings of the Second International ESPRIT ARES Workshop, Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, Springer LNCS 1429, 1998, pp. 39-48.
  • W. Eixelsberger and H. Beckman; "The TCS Experience with the Recovery of Family Architecture", In: M. Jazayeri, A. Ran, and F. van der Linden (eds.), Software Architecture for Product Families - Principles and Practice, Addison-Wesley, 2000, pp. 209-231.