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NAMUR Annual General Meeting 2013: Advantages of Integrated Engineering

from 2013-11-27

Users of automation technology in the process industry met once again for this year–s NAMUR Annual General Meeting on the 7th and 8th November 2013 in Bad Neuenahr for a mutual dialogue and discussion with invited experts and managers from manufacturers and associations.

Presentations from the sponsor Siemens and NAMUR on the motto of –Integrated Engineeringâ? illuminated this future-oriented topic. Contemporary contributions on Industry 4.0 and Automation Security highlighted the decisive role of automation technology for the progress and advances in the process industry. The 576 participants also had the opportunity to examine individual topics of interest to them in smaller groups at 29 workshops on automation. The presentation given by the Dutch/Belgian partner association WIB in the conference chamber underscored the importance of international cooperation and was an excellent contribution to round off an interesting programme.

Dr. Wilhelm Otten (Evonik) opened the event on Thursday with current information relating to NAMUR. In addition to the strategic orientation and efforts to have the association registered, this included the announcement of the selection of Dr. Thomas Steckenreiter (Bayer Technology Services) to sit on the NAMUR board. His predecessor, Dr. Norbert Kuschnerus, was awarded an honorary membership in recognition of his many years of service to NAMUR during which he pointed the direction in which the association should move. Dr. Wolfgang Morr (Bayer Technology Services) was awarded the Golden Honorary Needle by Dr. Otten as a mark of his outstanding personal commitment over the years.

In the presentation made by the sponsor Siemens, Eckard Eberle, CEO Industrial Automation Systems, and Hans-Georg Kumpfmüller, CEO Sensors and Communication, explained the advantages of integrated engineering in the system design, commissioning, operating, optimising and maintenance phases and illustrated the correlations with Industry 4.0.

Following this, Peter Schöler (Wacker) reported on the use of COMOS PT in his company, drawing on examples for support, and emphasised significant success factors which had been achieved through the introduction of integrated engineering.

The presentation given by Thomas Scherwietes (Evonik) highlighted the necessity for a data exchange between CAE and PLS independent of manufacturers and systems. The NAMUR Data Container was presented as a potential solution.

Dr. Thomas Tauchnitz (Sanofi) expanded the scope of application to encompass the entire area of integrated engineering, encouraging object-related standardisation of an interface suitable for the transmission of XML-based standardised and non-standardised data. This was immediately followed by the call for users, manufacturers and associations to meet in the evening for an initial discussion. This request was answered by 20 representatives of firms and associations, and concrete steps for the implementation of the concept were agreed.

The workshops held on Thursday afternoon gave international participants the opportunity to choose between translated contributions in the conference chamber and English presentations from the European partner associations EEMUA, EXERA, WIB and ISA. The variety of topics generally illustrated the broad scope of interest of NAMUR.

The presentation of the Namur Awards on Friday was followed by a guest presentation given by the Chairperson of the Dutch/Belgian partner association WIB, Alex van Delft (DSM), on the challenges facing automation technology in the EU. The importance of cooperation between associations for the future became evident during this, and it was indicated that European associations are currently involved in efforts to network closely with each other. Working groups are already controlled today at a cross-association level, and a mutual cooperation agreement is planned for 2014.

The subsequent contribution from Dr. Thorsten Pötter (Bayer Technology Services) entitled –Enabling Industry 4.0â? illustrated the vision for the process industry behind this initiative. The dissolution of the structured automation pyramid was announced in this context, with practical examples being employed to highlight the advantages inherent in cyber-physical production systems with access to large volumes of data in a network.

The euphoria was somewhat diminished subsequent to this as Martin Schwibach (BASF) addressed the topic of –Automation Securityâ? and illustrated numerous security incidents which have occurred in automation. One contribution to a solution in this respect is –Automation Security by Designâ?, and there then followed an appeal to work together with manufacturers on a mutual Automation Security Agenda 2020.

The final technical presentation of the Annual General Meeting was held by Michael Pelz (Clariant) who, on the basis of examples, illustrated the motivation and challenges relating to systems with decentralised intelligence.

This, the final lecture of the Annual General Meeting, provided the traditional bridge to the motto of the next General Meeting, which will be held again on the 6th and 7th November 2014 in the Dorint Parkhotel, Bad Neuenahr.

The motto of the Annual General Meeting 2014 will be:

Decentralised Intelligence

The organisers have managed to engage WAGO as the sponsor for this event. We can look forward with anticipation to the contributions of NAMUR and WAGO on this future-oriented topic in 2014.

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