42nd International Conference on Software Engineering (ICSE) Companion,
Software engineering in the industrial automation domain requires generic methods to keep the development complexity at an acceptable level. However, nowadays various PLC vendors use different dialects of the standardized programming languages in their tools, which hinders the re-usability and interoperability across the platforms. The service-oriented approaches can serve to overcome interoperability issues. In distributed control systems, the functionality of an automation component can be offered to the other parties that constitute a production system via a standardized interface, easing the orchestration of the whole system. This paper proposes such a generic interface that hides away the low-level implementation details of a particular functionality and provides a common semantic model for the execution. Further, we show how using such an interface can help to support and automate the overall engineering process, combining the functionality of different components to fulfill a production task. The reference implementation of the proposed concept was used in an industrial demonstrator, which shows the benefits in the system flexibility due to components interoperability and re-usability compared to the traditional control approaches.