Current industrial automation system architecture has done a good job of advancing industry to where we are today but “open automation” as it exists today is not enough. Industry-wide adoption of universal automation will ensure next-generation software applications are interoperable and portable.

The IEC 61499 standard extends and enhances the IEC 61131-3 standard. It solves the problems of ensuring portability, configurability, and interoperability of application software across vendors and, at the same time, permits software and hardware independenceIt allows a seamless integration with the IT layer and an easy distribution of control logic.

The IEC 61499 standard is a technological enabler for a “plug and produce” approach to industrial automation. Adoption of a shared automation layer, common across vendors, will provide limitless opportunities for growth and modernization across industry. The confluence of digitization and the IEC 61499 standard now make it possible for such open systems to be easily and effectively deployed.