Berlin The Ethernet POWERLINK Standardization Group (EPSG) and the Open Source Automation Development Lab (OSADL) will cooperate closely from now on. On the last day of the Hannover Messe trade show, the managing directors of EPSG and OSADL, Rüdiger Eikmeier and Dr. Carsten Emde, announced the future cooperation of both organizations, which have exchanged memberships.
This move was motivated by the disclosure of a POWERLINK solution through EPSG member and systems house SYS TEC electronic and considerations on the part of the EPSG to apply this Open Source policy to further products. Cooperating is a step in the right direction, towards an open development of POWERLINK, which benefits all users, explains Anton Meindl, CEO of the EPSG. In contrast to other real-time Ethernet organizations, we regard Open Source as a model for success for basic technologies such as real-time Ethernet networks. Openness means independence: Users can focus on their process know-how and are guaranteed to be able to implement necessary adjustments or add development enhancements at any time. Thus, openness also ensures investment protection.
Emde expects open-source systems to gain a market share around 40% in embedded systems and in machine and plant construction until 2010 - the current rate is 15% to 20%. Both managing directors agree that some users' fears concerning Open Source systems are completely unfounded, since valuable software know-how can be protected even in open source scenarios. We will need to increase the awareness of the issue, says Eikmeier. A look at France or Italy, for instance, shows that argu-ments typically raised against open source are proven to be incorrect. In these countries, open-source systems are already firmly established in the market.