Digital transformation – open architecture

Digital transformation – open architecture

Open, secure, scalable

Connectivity for intelligent observation and monitoring solutions in the process industry.

These days, steadily growing demands for increased security, availability, reliability, and greater efficiency require more technology that is difficult to integrate into the traditional automation pyramid. The digitalization of process automation is therefore opening the door to new technologies and approaches.

“Enhanced connectivity” from Phoenix Contact is more than a physical connection – it provides a connection that combines the logic as well as comprehensive, open, secure, and digital communication. It lays the foundation for new approaches, such as NAMUR Open Architecture (NOA) and Open Process Automation (OPA), to become a reality.

Your advantages

  • Future-proof process plants based on many years of industry expertise and helping to shape future-oriented trends such as NOA and OPA
  • Tailor-made solution from data acquisition through to the target system with system-independent automation technology
  • Prevention of unplanned system downtime by networking existing and additional diagnostic data for predictive maintenance

Standards for open automation systems

Networked data in a process plant  

NAMUR Open Architecture versus Open Process Automation

The NAMUR Open Architecture (NOA) describes how the traditional automation pyramid comprising fast-moving IT components from field level up to corporate management level can be easily integrated. And without affecting the availability and security of a plant.

Open Process Automation (OPA) goes a step further: in striving for completely open automation, this approach does away with the traditional process automation pyramid.

With the technological approach of an open, secure, and scalable ecosystem, Phoenix Contact shows how the concept of openness, flexibility, and agile solutions can be combined with the core aspects of the process industry (robustness, security, and reliability).

NAMUR Open Architecture

Automation pyramid in the context of NOA and PLCnext Technology  

Intelligent monitoring and optimization tasks with NOA and PLCnext Technology

The open, Linux-based PLCnext Technology control platform enables HART data and other protocols to be read in parallel without impacting the process control system. This data can be transferred to a cloud solution (such as PROFICLOUD from Phoenix Contact, Azure from Microsoft, etc.) as raw data or preprocessed by the controller via the OPC UA server.

Due to the openness of the control platform, apps from third-party providers, such as sensor and actuator manufacturers, can also be integrated into the system.Intelligent algorithms evaluate the acquired data and derive appropriate maintenance concepts.

With the PLCnext Technology ecosystem, monitoring and optimization tasks, and even predictive maintenance, can be easily implemented without impacting the core process.

Open Process Automation

The aim of Open Process Automation is to reduce the complexity of control system migration by taking an open and standard-based approach.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). In addition, PLCnext Technology enables external software to be hosted and for it to be run on the same hardware, thereby satisfying the main requirement of OPA.

Graphical overview of the vision for Open Process Automation (source: O-PAS™)  

A standard of The Open Group, a global technology consortium from the USA, developed in the Open Process Automation™ Forum (OPAF). Source: O-PAS™

PLCnext Technology wins the Achema Innovation Award 2018

Achema Innovation Award

PLCnext Technology – winner of the Achema Innovation Award 2018

On June 12, 2018, PLCnext Technology was awarded the Achema Innovation Award in the category MCR Technology and Process Automation. The most innovative development was selected from a shortlist of five candidates in each of a total of eight categories and three special categories.

At the celebratory award ceremony, Phoenix Contact received a certificate and the coveted award for the new, innovative control platform. We are grateful and delighted to have won this award.


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