Open Process Automation

Open Process Automation deconstructs the traditional automation pyramid and creates cross-manufacturer standards for the automation of large-scale systems.

We are actively working with the Open Process Automation™ Forum and its members to develop an open, interoperable, portable, and secure automation system of the future. Would you like to learn more about how we are supporting global end users on this journey? Our experts will be happy to advise you.

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Networked processing plant

Migration of control engineering

The vision of open process automation provides a process control architecture that is based on standards and is open, secure, and interoperable. End users can thus use interoperable components, portable software, and interchangeable hardware.

The Open Group logo
The Open Group logo
The Open Group logo
The Open Group logo

In the OPAF, we are working together with the Open Group and other companies from various industries. The goal is to provide commercially available as well as interoperable components, portable software, and interchangeable hardware.

Suppliers, system integrators, and manufacturers are represented equally in the OPAF. Thus, end users benefit from improved operations, open systems, and security.

You will find additional information on OPAF here:

To the Open Process Automation™ Forum
The Open Group logo

OPAF has driven the development of O-PAS™ forward. The core element of the standard is a real-time bus via which all components communicate with each other at all times and in real time. Higher-level systems, such as the Manufacturing OT Data Center, the Enterprise Data Center, and external systems such as cloud systems, etc., communicate via this real-time bus without unnecessary barriers. The systems themselves remain independent and scalable.

Controllers, monitoring systems, sensors, control systems, etc., are connected to the real-time bus either directly or via standardized network gateways, depending on which data format they use. The systems have direct access to all vital and production data.

The Open Group logo

Open Process Automation provides a standards-based, open, secure, and interoperable process control architecture with the following features:

  • Interoperable components, portable software, and interchangeable hardware
  • Commercially available and for multiple branches of industry
  • Protection of the intellectual property of suppliers
  • Expansion of the markets for components and services from suppliers and system integrators.

Our commitment to Open Process Automation

O-PAS™ provides end users with optimized operations, open systems, and comprehensive security. Our open PLCnext Technology control platform satisfies the type of product and business model that OPAF intends for the future of industrial automation.

PLCnext Technology ecosystem

Open automation

Our products, such as PLCnext Technology and Axioline I/O, have been used in initial pilot projects that meet the goals of open process automation.

Our open source platform is a future-proof basis for the automation of systems currently being developed. You will find further information on our website:

Implementation of O-PAS™

PLCnext Technology, our open control platform, supports this open approach. Here, the PLCnext Technology ecosystem supports this open approach by assuming the role of the DCN (Distributed Control Node) with secure and redundant connections to the new real-time service bus and connection to existing and new field devices (I/Os). PLCnext Technology also implements the major requirements of OPA, whereby external software can be hosted and executed on the same hardware.

Open Process Automation architecture
Demonstrator – Open Process Automation at the NAMUR Main Meeting 2019

NAMUR general meeting 2019

Pilot projects

To implement the Open Process Automation™ standard, we are working together with end users on pilot projects and test environments.

Would you like to learn more about open usability, portability, and future-proof migration? Feel free to contact us.

Coalition for Open Process Automation (COPA) logo

Coalition for Open Process Automation (COPA)

COPA is a partnership program founded by Collaborative Systems Integration (CSI) and Its goal is to promote collaboration between OT and IT vendors for developing commercial control systems based on O-PAS™. All COPA members also serve as active participants in OPAF. The goal of OPAF is to define the O-PAS™ standards. In turn, COPA shows how these standards can be implemented in the vendors’ components.

With the launch of COPA QuickStart, process control engineers can learn and test an open process automation (OPA) system. As an industry leader in Open Control, we support COPA with hardware and engineering know-how for COPA QuickStart.

Additional information on COPA is available here:


Learn more about our solutions for realizing the Open Process Automation™ standard.

Open Process Automation round table with experts

The importance of the absolute openness of automation components is discussed in the round table with experts during the Phoenix Contact Dialog Days Process Automation Edition. The goal is to realize state-of-the-art digitalization concepts such as Open Process Automation™. Our experts illustrate why the new PLCnext Technology automation platform fits perfectly into open concepts such as Open Process Automation™.

Phoenix Contact and OPAF for Open Source development

Tyler Redslob, Vertical Market Manager for Process Automation at Phoenix Contact USA, talks about Open Process Automation™, the commitment of Phoenix Contact, and the transformation with PLCnext Technology.

Open Automation for the IIoT

At the ARC Global Forum 2020, Harry Forbes talks with Pat McCurdy, Vice President of Industry Management and Automation at Phoenix Contact USA, about the open PLCnext Technology control platform.

ExxonMobil and PLCnext Technology for New Open Process Automation
ExxonMobil and PLCnext Technology for OPA YouTube

ExxonMobil and PLCnext Technology for New Open Process Automation

Harry Forbes is the Automation Research Director for the ARC Advisory Group. Together with experts from ExxonMobil and Phoenix Contact, he discusses the future of open process automation and the Open Process Automation™ Foundation (OPAF).

Personal contact
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Feel free to contact us to learn more about the possibilities and implementation of Open Process Automation.
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