Building interoperable control systems

Mixing control system components from different manufacturers often took more integration time than practical. Efforts from Open Process Automation Forum are leading to interoperability among controls manufacturers.

By Mark T. Hoske July 5, 2022
Courtesy: Mark T. Hoske, Control Engineering, CFE Media and Technology

 

Learning Objectives

  • Understand recent updates to The Open Group’s Open Process Automation Forum (OPAF) efforts to create a standards-based, open, interoperable, and secure process automation architecture.
  • Examine Open Process Automation Standard (O-PAS) Standard references, certification and interoperability efforts.
  • Learn about O-PAS: Standard of standards, adoption guide and workshops.

Efforts to create interoperable control systems are working, according to updates at the 26th Annual ARC Industry Forum, June 6-9, from The Open Group’s Open Process Automation Forum (OPAF). The OPAF goal is to create a standards-based, open, interoperable and secure process automation architecture.

OPAF interoperability in process

The consensus-based OPAF group of more than 110 end users, suppliers, system integrators, standards organizations, and academia is addressing technical and business issues for process automation. As a standard of standards, Open Process Automation Standard (O-PAS) aims to incorporate existing well-established industry standards, only creating new standard where none exist.

The newest version of the is O-PAS Standard Version 2.1, available to the public free of charge from The Open Group Library. The O-PAS Standard V2.1, is focused on defining the minimum standard and specification requirements for federated process automation systems, using an open and interoperable reference architecture.

O-PAS references, certification, interoperability

A business ecosystem is described in The Open Process Automation Business Guide, which provides the motivation and vision for a standards-based, open, interoperable and secure process automation architecture as a business imperative for users and suppliers of industrial control systems. Throughout development, emphasis has remained on end user needs. Efforts underway includes development of a O-PAS Adoption Guide, a product certification process, interoperability demonstrations and global outreach.

Suppliers, system integrators, and end users expressed continuing interest in driving O-PAS adoption globally.

Four OPAF working groups cover business (business guide, marketing and outreach, liaisons), enterprise architecture (requirements management), technology (technical architecture, information model and standard configuration, application framework, connectivity framework, security architecture, systems and network management, physical platform, interoperability workshop, orchestration) and certification.

The Open Process Automation Forum (OPAF) and the Open Process Automation Standard (O-PAS) aims to help deliver the next generation of process automation systems. At ARC Forum, updates were provided by, from left to right, see Mohan Kalyanaraman PhD, technology acquisition advisor, ExxonMobil (left); Paul Hunkar, consultant, Yokogawa; Ed Agis, senior engineering director for compliance and certification initiatives, Intel; Luis Duran, global product line manager, ABB AG; Kirk Smith, director and principal engineer – industrial systems and solutions architecture, Intel; Don Bartusiak, president, Collaborative Systems Integration (right, standing). Courtesy: Mark T. Hoske, Control Engineering, CFE Media and Technology

The Open Process Automation Forum (OPAF) and the Open Process Automation Standard (O-PAS) aims to help deliver the next generation of process automation systems. At ARC Forum, updates were provided by, from left to right, see Mohan Kalyanaraman PhD, technology acquisition advisor, ExxonMobil (left); Paul Hunkar, consultant, Yokogawa; Ed Agis, senior engineering director for compliance and certification initiatives, Intel; Luis Duran, global product line manager, ABB AG; Kirk Smith, director and principal engineer – industrial systems and solutions architecture, Intel; Don Bartusiak, president, Collaborative Systems Integration (right, standing). Courtesy: Mark T. Hoske, Control Engineering, CFE Media and Technology

O-PAS: Standard of standards, adoption guide, workshops

Completed standards are: interoperability v1, base configuration V2. function blocks v2.1, and configuration portability. In progress are application portability, orchestration, and physical platform.

Referenced standards are cited for each O-PAS part as version progress, including IEC 62264 (ISA-95, Enterprise-Control System Integration), IEC 62443 (ISA-99 Security for Industrial Automation and Control Systems), IEC 62541 (OPC-UA), DMTF (Redfish, donation planned after testing), IEC 62714 (AutomationML Automation Markup Language), IEC 62682 (ISA-18.2 Management of Alarm Systems for Process Industries), IEC 61131-3 (programming languages), and IEC 61499 (Function Blocks).

An end-user caucus in July 2021 provided input on physical platform, application portability, and system orchestration from 179 participants, 54 member organizations, including 110 attendees from end-user organizations.

Second half of 2022 is expected to include the O-PAS Adoption Guide with guidance for changes and how they would affect the system lifecycle and more interoperability workshops.

Open Group members (more than 850) include Aveva, Beckhoff Automation, BP, Chevron, DuPont, Eastman Chemical, Eaton, Endress+Hauser, ExxonMobil, Halliburton, Hargrove Controls + Automation, Honeywell, Hitachi Vantara, LNS Research, Marathon Oil, Merck, Microsoft, Petrobas, R Stahl, Schneider Electric, Shell, Wood, and Yokogawa Electric.

Mark T. Hoske is content manager, Control Engineering, CFE Media and Technology, mhoske@cfemedia.com.

KEYWORDS: Open Process Automation Forum

CONSIDER THIS

If interoperability matters to you, are you requiring The Open Process Automation Standard (O-PAS) in your next request for proposal?

ONLINE

For more from OPAF, see:

https://www.opengroup.org/forum/open-process-automation-forum

https://publications.opengroup.org/standards/opa

For more from Control Engineering about OPAF, see linked articles below:

https://www.controleng.com/articles/moving-toward-automation-interoperability/

https://www.controleng.com/articles/creating-a-safe-path-to-digital-with-open-standards/

https://www.controleng.com/articles/up-next-more-open-process-automation/

https://www.controleng.com/articles/open-process-automation-leads-to-innovation/


Mark T. Hoske
Author Bio: Mark Hoske has been Control Engineering editor/content manager since 1994 and in a leadership role since 1999, covering all major areas: control systems, networking and information systems, control equipment and energy, and system integration, everything that comprises or facilitates the control loop. He has been writing about technology since 1987, writing professionally since 1982, and has a Bachelor of Science in Journalism degree from UW-Madison.