In times when new products such as cars, mobile phones, washing machines, etc. are becoming increasingly complex but at the same time are to be produced faster, the production systems have to follow this change and meet the requirements. (However,) These requirements apply not only to the time of use of a production system, but also to its entire lifecycle, including the period during which the production system is designed and produced. This period should be as short as possible, so that experts from different disciplines work together to develop and create a production system. The result is a complex interplay of various activities or design decisions which are made by experts from different disciplines, each with a different view of the objects to be developed.
The interplay of the individual design tools used by the involved experts has proven to be particularly time-consuming in the design of production systems. Today, these can only unsatisfactory exchange design information, which leads to frequent repetitions of design steps or to mindless copying of design results from others.
In order to address this problem, Daimler AG launched the AutomationML Initiative in 2006, within which nine partners from industry and research were involved in the development of a fully usable data exchange format for the design of production systems, Automation Markup Language (AutomationML).
Over the last 10 years, an open, neutral, XML-based and free data exchange format has emerged, which allows domain and company-wide transfer of design data within the framework of the design process of production systems in a heterogeneous design tool landscape and now within the framework of the IEC 62714 series of standards (see IEC) will be standardized.
In 2009, seven of the nine members of the AutomationML initiative founded AutomationML e.V., which is now organizing the development of AutomationML and is driving forward the standardization. In this association, according to the status of May 2017, more than 40 members are organized, who carry out the actual development work in various working groups.
Like every member-based industry association, AutomationML e.V. is also managed by a (management) board, which is supported by a business office in the daily organization process. This office is based (located) at the IAF at the Otto-von-Guericke-University Magdeburg.
The main tasks of the office are, on the one hand, the support of the technical work of the AutomationML association with regard to the coordination of the work of the working groups among each other and with the external working groups from DKE, IEC, KHRONOS, PLCopen, OPC Foundation, eCl@ss e.V., ProSTEP iViP, FDT Group, VDMA und VDA. And on the other hand the administration of the association with regard to membership management, general meetings, accounting, financial management, and dissemination of results (especially marketing).
Of course, the employees at the IAF also actively participate in the various working groups of AutomationML e.V., which is shown, for example, by the management of the working group for application scenarios as well as by the management of the standardization of behavioral descriptions in the IEC.
In addition, the IAF offers training courses for interested companies and research institutes with regard to the use of AutomationML in various fields of application.