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How open standard based tools can support the future of flexible manufacturing

Julien Chouinard, ICS Triplex, Canada

Mr. Chouinard graduated from Laval University with a degree in Chemical Engineering. He specialized in biotechnology at the Masterís level, but got involved early on in advanced process automation.
Over the last 23 years, Mr. Chouinard has been at the forefront of the development of new automation technologies. As the Managing Director of ICS Triplex ISaGRAF, he has been instrumental in providing the automation industry with the most widely used automation technology in the world.
Mr. Chouinard believes in teamwork and in the close cooperation between all members of the company. Accordingly, he considers the relationship with all the customers of ICS Triplex ISaGRAF a partnership with the goal to deliver the best automation products on the marketplace.

Speech Summary

At the end of the 1980`s, sophisticated automation technologies were only available through large automation vendors and at a very high cost. The subsequent introduction of PC - based HMI products and the adoption of open standards such as the IEC61131 has made automation technologies markets accessible to all and has driven the propagation of a wide variety of specialized control equipment.

With IEC61131; multi-vendor interoperability and portability were anticipated.
Customers of IEC61311 standard - compliant vendors would have the ability to mix and match their equipment on the same network. The theory unfortunately never became a reality.

In the same spirit followed the development of field bus technologies and the creation of communities around those technologies that have opened the door, if only slightly, to multi-vendor interoperability. Yet, one had to pick the right open field bus technology for this to be applicable.

In a global environment with a premium on distributed control and agility as essential elements of competitiveness, it is now time to redefine the ways automation controllers cooperate. We believe that solutions based upon the new IEC 61499 standard are the future basis for agile distributed control systems.

In this presentation, I will discuss the challenges facing the industry in complying with the IEC61499 standard and the commitment and contribution of ISaGRAF towards that goal.

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