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This paper presents and explores the analogy between manufacturing and data processing from the point of view of the Functional Programming concept proposed by Backus. If the data file is replaced by a set of objects, a data processor becomes a manufacturing machine, and a factory is regarded as an object-flow interpreter. This suggests a manufacturing process description formalism, which in turn leads to a controller specification methodology. Although it can be extended to continuous processes, the analogy applies especially to discrete processes (i.e., processes whose evolution corresponds to sequences of easily identifiable and relatively few steps).
manufacturing processes, functional programming, specification languages, controller design, process control
Pós-Graduaçāo, Universidade Federal do Rio Grande do Sul, Porto Alegre,