The Open Group launches new process automation standard

Tuesday February 12, 2019
Written by Manufacturing AUTOMATION
February 12, 2019 – The Open Group, a vendor-neutral technology consortium, has launched a new standard to enable the construction of scalable and secure process automation systems.

The new O-PAS Standard, Version 1.0, was developed by The Open Group Open Process Automation Forum and its key tenet is to adopt "fit-for-purpose" industry standards that exist in the marketplace today. As a result, the standard will incorporate a variety of functional elements that are already provided by multiple vendors. The framework includes:

  • Security: The market has identified the need for security to be built in to any new architectural approach to process control systems. This part, using ANSI/ISA 62443 (adopted by IEC as IEC 62443), forms the basis for compliance with the security requirements of the Open Process Automation Ecosystem. It provides direction and consistency, from a security perspective, for the development of the other parts of the standard.
  • Connectivity: OPC UA. This part specifies the interfaces necessary to achieve base connectivity for both client-server and publish-subscribe environments.
  • Systems Management: DMTF Redfish. System management of a process automation system covers a number of different management functions including managing hardware, operating systems and platform software, applications, and networks. This version covers hardware management only. Future versions will address the other system management functions.
"End-user demand for standards enabling interoperability is increasing due to the business need to reduce capital costs for process control, along with making scalability and cybersecurity capabilities an inherent part of these systems," says Steve Nunn, CEO, The Open Group. "This new standard will address both business and technical challenges in process automation and will resonate with many different vertical industries."

The O-PAS Standard, Version 1.0, is being published as a preliminary standard since it addresses an area of emerging technology. Therefore, it may incorporate some changes before being published as a full standard of The Open Group.

The Open Process Automation Forum is an international forum of end-users, system integrators, suppliers, academia, and other standards organizations working together to develop a standards-based, open, secure and interoperable process control architecture.

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