European associations of automation technology end-users in the process industry (NEWE) agree on further co-operation

from 2016-12-01


Consensus to move towards open, secure and interoperable Process Control systems, enabling Industry 4.0

Board members and directors of the European user associations of automation technology in the process industry held their 5th annual steering committee meeting in Maastricht on 20 September 2016. The associations NAMUR, EI, WIB and EXERA (in short: ‘NEWE’) represent over 250 leading companies using facilities from instruments to entire software solutions for automation of their process plants. Purpose of the meeting was to further align, strengthen and co-ordinate fields of common interest.

The main topics discussed and agreements centered around the establishment of common positions on present and future European and International standardization, particularly in areas of development of interconnectivity i.e. Open control and communication systems.

This is necessary to serve the industries’ data communication demands for future deployment of effective and economic process control systems and facilitation of Industry 4.0.

Open Architecture: All participating associations acknowledged the urgency to develop and achieve sustainable Open systems to be able to fulfil future needs and overcome the technical and commercial root causes of problems with current process control systems, as well as provide intrinsic cyber security properties. NAMUR presented their vision in the NOA – (NAMUR Open Architecture) concept and ExxonMobil, a leading WIB member, presented their vision as part of a novel ‘Open Process Automation’ control architecture, organized as forum in the ‘Open Group’.

The NEWE associations committed to coordinate their efforts in order to achieve a future proof architecture.

Open communication (FDI): Standardized, intelligent system interfaces are the key success factor to achieve the benefits of Industry 4.0 in process industry. They are the basis to make our core processes, supply chain and asset life cycle as well as “vertical” integration more transparent and efficient. FDI (Field Device Integration) is a big step forward to integrate field devices into automation networks automatically with standardized, vendor independent tools and procedures. FDI will simplify the tasks of our automation engineers, avoid individual manual integration effort, therefore save money and foster safety and availability. In order to achieve long-term benefits, certification of systems and packages as well as the implementation of an open vendor-neutral interface (OPC UA) are important steps.

NAMUR has driven these activities to merge existing standards (incl. OPC UA) and tools and will consequently promote and implement FDI. The NEWE associations will closely follow-up this development and are expected to support this recommendation.

For further details, contact:

For links to the NEWE associations see:

The link to the ‘Open Group’:

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