UniversalAutomation.Org (UAO), an independent, not-for-profit association managing a reference implementation of an industrial automation shared source IEC 61499 standard runtime, welcomes ExxonMobil, one of the world’s largest publicly traded international oil and gas companies, as a member. ExxonMobil has been using the IEC 61499 runtime as part of an Open Process Automation test bed, having previously deployed the runtime for a successful prototype at an ExxonMobil pilot plant. 
 
The technological collaboration between ExxonMobil and UniversalAutomation.Org members will drive further development of an ecosystem of portable, interoperable, “plug and produce” solutions, creating an entirely new category of industrial automation for real-world applications.
 
“We are pleased to join UniversialAutomation.Org and collaborate with other member companies on a software-driven approach to building an automation system,” said Ryan Smeltzer, OPA program manager for ExxonMobil Research and Engineering Company.  “IEC 61499 standard runtime allows ExxonMobil to continue to innovate and drive open process automation. We can now use best-in-class components sourced from different suppliers without the constraints of custom integration, increasing manufacturing operations efficiency through portability of applications.”
 
“We are delighted to welcome ExxonMobil as a member, as more and more market-leading organizations seek to empower their talent with access to the latest industrial automation technologies and solutions,”commented John Conway, President of UniversalAutomation.Org. “UniversalAutomation.Org provides the basis for portable automation software components that can run on any universal automation-compliant hardware, creating an entirely vendor-agnostic ecosystem for automation software development. By facilitating the integration of real-time operational technology (OT) with “right-time” information technology (IT), we help our member organizations unleash the full potential of Industry 4.0.”
 
“The purpose of UniversalAutomation.Org is to create next-generation industrial automation solutions for the real-life challenges of the modern world,” said Greg Boucaud, Chief Marketing Officer of UniversalAutomation.Org. “We want to collaborate and co-innovate with industrial leaders and pioneers, such as ExxonMobil – the users of this entirely new vendor-agnostic automation ecosystem who are making it a reality.”
 
ExxonMobil joins current members of UniversalAutomation.Org, including: Aalto University, Actemium, Advantech, Asus, Belden, Cargill, Dynamic Process, eaw Relaistechnik GmbH, ESA, ETP, Flexbridge, gr3n, Hirschmann, HTW Berlin, Intel, Jetter, Johannes Kepler University Linz, Kongsberg Maritime, Luleå Technological University, Lumberg Automation, Phoenix Contact, ProSoft, R. Stahl, Schneider Electric, Shell, Wilo, Wood and Yokogawa. 
 
Members are working together to develop and adopt the next generation of universal automation solutions by collectively incrementing a runtime following shared source principles. Members will have access and the ability to shape the next generation of automation. UniversalAutomation.Org is actively recruiting new members. All entities looking to help advance software-centric industrial automation are encouraged to join.