“This software standard is a game-changer for the automation industry”

Interview with Valeriy Vyatkin, chaired professor of Dependable Computation and Communication Systems at Luleå University of Technology.

On the 14th of September, professor Valeriy Vyatkin is giving a speech at the Schneider event, on the latest developments of open automation and the standard IEC 61499.

Vyatkin has dedicated 20 years of research to this area and sees an increased interest for the advanced open software standard, that makes it possible for industrial companies to not be locked to one automation vendor. He’s looking forward to presenting its possibilities on the event in September.

Hi Valeriy, could you give us some background about you and your research?

“Of course. It was during my post-grad in Japan where I first learned about the technology behind this standard, which I found very interesting. After Japan I moved to Germany and was heavily involved in a community developing the early steps of this. Six years later I moved to New Zeeland where I experimented with similar technology for 8 years. In 2020 I moved to Luleå where I’ve kept doing the same thing. I’ve dedicated about 20 years of research to this area – and in the past five years we’ve seen a growing interest from the industry – which feels very promising.”

Why do we see a growing interest now do you think? 

“The software is expensive for the industry if automation is concerned – as much as 60% of their cost goes to software. Throughout the years there have been a lot of debate on how to best design software for automation systems, but no evidence for clear superiority of any of those different options. What we have seen is vendors trying to lock costumers into their proprietary technology stacks, but the costumers often need to have a choice. Our research shows that one key thing is standardization. This is the reason why open-source software has become more popular. An open approach is what the customer needs. This is the next step after interoperability – this is software portability.”

The Schneider event takes place on the 14th of September at Clarion Hotel Sense in Luleå and is a collaboration between Schneider, Luleå University of Technology and Process IT Innovations.  Latest RVSP 2 September.