The Open Group Launches the Open Process Automation™ Forum

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The Open Group Launches the Open Process Automation Forum 

San Francisco, California, US, January 31, 2017The Open Group, the vendor-neutral technology consortium, has announced the official launch of the Open Process Automation™ Forum, a Forum of The Open Group, to provide a collaborative environment where members can engage and position themselves, their practices, and their organizations in the global process control automation marketplace. Through the Forum, members will work to create standards for a technology framework from which agile, secure, and manageable automation solutions can be specified, built, purchased, and operated.

Organizations that join the Forum will be able to influence the agreed architecture and specifications of standards that the Forum develops, resulting in lower commercial risk in the development of automation processes. Early access to the specifications helps ensure alignment and gives reassurances that any requirements their organization has are incorporated in specifications for future procurements.

To achieve its objectives, the Forum is working in four key areas to:

  • Understand industry value chains and business models to ensure that sustainable business models are created going forward enabling a “win-win” for all participants in the process control automation ecosystem
  • Develop a standard that will deliver the interoperability and application portability that end-users are seeking
  • Develop a conformance program, making it easy to identify products that comply with the standards created by the forum
  • Promote adoption of agreed standards on a global basis

Steve Nunn, President and CEO of The Open Group stated, “End-user demand for standards enabling interoperability is being increased by the very real business need to reduce capital costs for process control systems. Whether they are replacements or upgrades, more agility is required in introducing new capabilities into existing networks, along with making cybersecurity capabilities an inherent part of control systems. The resulting framework from this process will be a ‘standard of standards’ to bring greater unity and consistency in how process automation is achieved.”

In June 2016, The Open Group collaborated with ExxonMobil Research & Engineering Company (EMRE) to host an Industry Day that communicated the existing customer industry situation and common problems. This was done to better understand the interest from customer organizations to work toward standards-based solutions that leverage an open architecture for automation.

Don Bartusiak, Chief Engineer at ExxonMobil Research & Engineering, added, “ExxonMobil has publicly advocated the development of a new, standards-based process control framework for some time now and presented a functional characteristics document to the industry at the ARC Forum in 2015. We turned to The Open Group for help in forming a new standards initiative to address both business and technical challenges in the process control industry and are delighted to see the Open Process Automation Forum officially launch.”

The Industry Day went a long way towards setting the agenda for the Forum. In November, 54 participants from 32 member organizations of The Open Group held the inaugural meeting of the Forum, where it emerged that replacing aging control system infrastructure and more rapid technology insertion were common business concerns, validating The Open Group and EMRE’s rationale for establishing the Forum. Members ended the meeting having laid out a structure and approaches to the business and technical issues.

“This new initiative can deliver benefit to many different vertical industries. The ideas behind the Open Process Automation Forum began within ExxonMobil, but they resonate with end-user firms in Oil & Gas, Chemical, Pharmaceutical, and Pulp and Paper, as well as leading automation suppliers. This is a critical mass to develop meaningful and high-value work that can benefit both end-users and suppliers", said Harry Forbes, Research Director, ARC Advisory Group.

The current Open Process Automation Forum Member List can be found here.

The new Open Process Automation Forum Information Sheet is now available through The Open Group bookstore

To join The Open Group Open Process Automation Forum, please visit here.

 

-ENDS-

 

About The Open Process Automation Forum

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.

Open Process Automation is a trademark of The Open Group.

About The Open Group

The Open Group is an international vendor--‐and technology--‐neutral consortium upon which organizations rely to lead the development of IT standards and certifications, and to provide them with access to key industry peers, suppliers and best practices.  The Open Group provides guidance and an open environment in order to ensure interoperability and vendor neutrality.  Further information on The Open Group can be found at www.opengroup.org.

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