Hic sunt dracones? Developing software for networked production automation systems
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Industry faces major challenges as product life-cycles shorten, product variability increases, and global markets become more volatile. To remain competitive, production facilities and equipment must be adaptable to respond quickly and efficiently to these changes. A key success factor in achieving these goals is the control and automation infrastructure. New distributed architectures are a possible approach to address these requirements. The amount of software in production automation systems is constantly increasing. This is reinforced by the demand for increased networking of these systems. Current technologies are already reaching their limits. This leads to increasing development efforts and costs. It seems as if control software turns into an indomitable beast which is very difficult to control. New interaction and communication patterns as well as new ways of programming automation systems consisting of networked control units are required. In the context of this talk we would like to give an overview of the current and future requirements for production automation systems. The current approaches to programming production automation systems will be considered. In particular, it will be shown how model-driven or low code software development can help to tame the beast and reduce development efforts. An important aspect here is Open Source Software, which still has great potential especially in the production automation system environment.