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Lab will test whether products are `open`

01 September, 2001

Lab will test whether products are `open`

A US organisation that runs what it claims is the world`s largest on-line community for control engineers, is setting up an independent laboratory to test the interoperability of industrial controls. The Open Controls Laboratory, formed by Control.com Inc, will test, characterise and integrate open control products from different suppliers and assess their ability to work together. The results will be published on the Web.

"The manufacturing industry has been struggling to move toward the open control paradigm for over a decade," says Ken Crater, president of Control.com. "As an independent third-party evaluator of industrial control technologies, our goal is to help bring order and predictability to what is currently a somewhat chaotic marketplace. While many companies claim their products are open, the devil is in the technical details.

"The Open Controls Lab will look beyond the marketing hype to provide control engineers with the concrete information they need to make products work together," Crater continues. "By providing objective, unbiased information about our findings, we will serve as a trusted third-party testing organisation upon which the entire industrial control community can depend."

The Laboratory, headed by real-time controls specialist Dr Peter Wurmsdobler, plans to work closely with the engineering community to establish testing criteria and interoperability standards, as well as prioritising which products to test.




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