The Past, Present, and Future of IEC 61499

  • Alois Zoitl
  • Thomas Strasser
  • Ken Hall
  • Ray Staron
  • Christoph Sünder
  • Bernard Favre-Bulle
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 4659)


In 1991, Technical Committee 65 (TC65) of the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) approved a New Work Item (NWI) for the development of an international standard for the use of software objects known as Function Blocks (FBs) in distributed Industrial-Process Measurement and Control Systems (dIPMCS). The need for this new standard resulted out of several studies and research programs that have been started or conducted in the late eighties and early nineties of the last century. IEC 61499 got finally standardized in January 2005. Before that, since 2000, it was available in the form of a so-called Public Available Specification (PAS). Although IEC 61499 has been available for so long, up to now most published work on it has been academic or resulted only in prototypical test cases. Most activities around the IEC 61499 standard have been in standardization of the execution environment and definition of semantics. Some current research is in pursuing design and coding tools. This paper gives and overview about the past and present activities and implementations related to IEC 61499 and discusses the potential of this new standard for future application scenarios.


Holonic Systems Distributed Control Next Generation Automation and Control Systems 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  • Alois Zoitl
    • 1
  • Thomas Strasser
    • 2
  • Ken Hall
    • 3
  • Ray Staron
    • 3
  • Christoph Sünder
    • 1
  • Bernard Favre-Bulle
    • 1
  1. 1.Automation and Control Institute, Vienna University of Technology, Gusshausstr., 27-29/376, 1040 ViennaAustria
  2. 2.PROFACTOR Produktionsforschungs GmBH, 4407 Steyr-GleinkAustria
  3. 3.Rockwell Automation, Inc., 1 Allen-Bradley Drive, Mayfield Heights, OH 44124USA

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