EIF 2017 - Convergence of IT and Automation Architectures

By Wolfgang Morr

Company and Product News

In May, ARC Advisory Group has hosted its European Industry Forum (EIF) in the Meliã Hotel Sitges in Spain. The European Industry Forum is part of ARC’s successful series of worldwide conferences in the USA, India, China, and Japan.


The main topic of the session was the future of automation architectures. Connectivity is regarded as a commodity feature of devices and systems. Differentiation between suppliers, therefore, is shifted to the next level, i.e., it is no longer possible to achieve a market advantage by ”just” providing good connectivity properties. One panelist even predicted that networks, in the future, will become “invisible” in a sense.

Safety and security features need to be built into solutions rather than using “clamp on” security/safety devices, which are quite common today.

Virtualization will become an important topic over the next years, as it enables the continued operation of older systems as long as it is deemed necessary. During a project, virtualization allows for the purchasing of expensive hardware shortly before commissioning since their physical presence is not necessary for engineering/testing purposes anymore.

Future architectures will have to be flexible:

1. Allowing for the implementation of centralized and decentralized solutions as required by the automation task.

2. Capability for constant reconfiguring is a necessity (think, e.g., of autonomous cars that will be constantly added and removed from the network).


In May 2018, ARC will host its European Industry Forum (EIF) again. For further details, please contact your Client Manager or email ablech@arcweb.com.

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