AutomationML Comes of Age

By Fabian Wanke

Industry Trends

At the fourth AutomationML user conference, which took place at Festo AG & Co. KG in Esslingen, Germany, users and partners from science and industry presented applications, guidelines for realizing workflows, and extensions to AutomationML.  

What is AutomationML?

AutomationML (automation markup language) was developed to standardize and optimize data exchange in the engineering processes of production systems.  AutomationML is a free, neutral data format based on XML for the storage and exchange of device and object information, and is provided as open standard.  Several parts have already been standardized internationally (IEC 62714).  

AutomationML enables the vendor-neutral exchange of engineering data, combining and adapting existing industry-proven data formats.  In addition, it enables the interconnection of the heterogeneous tool landscape of engineering tools in different disciplines, such as plant design, electrical design, HMI development, PLC programming and robot control.

The application examples presented at the conference ranged from model-based engineering of components using AutomationML, to model-driven approaches for software engineering of industrial robotics, to the exchange of eCAD data between EPLAN P8 and Siemens TIA Portal, to name just a few. 

Well-known industrial companies like Daimler, Siemens and Festo presented their use cases, while IT companies like SAP, Eplan and logi.cals presented their solutions. Representatives from universities completed the picture through the presentation of their visions, research and solutions.  ARC Advisory Group hosted an expert panel discussion on “Road to Industrie 4.0: AutomationML as Digital Enabler”.  

In summary, all panelists experts agreed that AutomationML is a valuable part of the Industrie 4.0 architecture for all industries, whether discrete or process.  ARC sees the potential and benefits of automation suppliers using AutomationML, especially in the context of IIoT or Industrie 4.0.  Using the AutomationML format, makes data exchange between engineering tools easier and enables true collaboration.  Finally, AutomationML can help reduce engineering time, resulting in lower engineering costs and shorter time-to-market.   For further information visit​

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