The First Open Process Automation Platform Arrives

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Welcome to Take Five with Automation World. Today I’ll be talking about a topic that has been making headlines for the past several years. That is the need for an open industrial control platform that is vendor and technology neutral and therefore avoids vendor lock-in when it comes to upgrading and scaling distributed control systems. Since 2015, engineering executives from ExxonMobil have been challenging traditional automation practices that build on proprietary technology to create dependencies within the physical design. This set up ensures a long-term deal for the control system supplier, but makes it difficult for a manufacturer to integrate third party hardware and software where needed. Or even move to another control system. Having seen other industry initiatives that provide a vendor-agnostic reference architecture, such as the Open Group’s Future Airborne Capability Environment for avionics systems, ExxonMobil executives looked for a way for the process industry to replicate the model.

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