In order to meet the diversity in application requirements in the competitive industrial automation market, a flexible and modular open control software architecture is needed. The architecture must be scalable in order to provide cost effective solutions. Under this scalable architecture, the users select from a full NT control station, down to a diskless platform with only a few mega-bytes of RAM and/or flash memory resulting in the most cost effective control solution plant-wide.
All control systems interoperate via a plant-wide Ethernet based network, which is easily expandable to a global, Internet-based communication network. This paper details the underlying software technologies for such a networked control system now and in the future.