Press release 1 December 2016
European associations of automation technology end-users in the
process industry (NEWE) agree on further co-operation.
Consensus to move towards open, secure and interoperable Process Control systems, enabling Industry 4.0
Board members and directors of the European user associations of automation technology in the
process industry held their 5th annual steering committee meeting in Maastricht on 20
September 2016. The associations NAMUR, EI, WIB and EXERA (in short: ‘NEWE’) represent
over 250 leading companies using facilities from instruments to entire software solutions for
automation of their process plants. Purpose of the meeting was to further align, strengthen and
co-ordinate fields of common interest.
The main topics discussed and agreements centered around the establishment of common
positions on present and future European and International standardization, particularly in areas
of development of interconnectivity i.e. Open control and communication systems.
This is necessary to serve the industries’ data communication demands for future deployment of
effective and economic process control systems and facilitation of Industry 4.0.
Open Architecture: All participating associations acknowledged the urgency to develop and
achieve sustainable Open systems to be able to fulfil future needs and overcome the technical
and commercial root causes of problems with current process control systems, as well as
provide intrinsic cyber security properties. NAMUR presented their vision in the NOA – (NAMUR
Open Architecture) concept and ExxonMobil, a leading WIB member, presented their vision as
part of a novel ‘Open Process Automation’ control architecture, organized as forum in the ‘Open
The NEWE associations committed to coordinate their efforts in order to achieve a future proof
Open communication (FDI): Standardized, intelligent system interfaces are the key success
factor to achieve the benefits of Industry 4.0 in process industry. They are the basis to make our
core processes, supply chain and asset life cycle as well as “vertical” integration more
transparent and efficient. FDI (Field Device Integration) is a big step forward to integrate field
devices into automation networks automatically with standardized, vendor independent tools and
procedures. FDI will simplify the tasks of our automation engineers, avoid individual manual
integration effort, therefore save money and foster safety and availability. In order to achieve
long-term benefits, certification of systems and packages as well as the implementation of an
open vendor-neutral interface (OPC UA) are important steps.
NAMUR has driven these activities to merge existing standards (incl. OPC UA) and tools and
will consequently promote and implement FDI. The NEWE associations will closely follow-up this
development and are expected to support this recommendation.
For further details, contact:
For links to the NEWE associations see:
The link to the ‘Open Group’: