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About OACG

Welcome to the Open Automation and Control Group (OACG) website.

This is an informal group specialising in open automation and control, with particular emphasis on high availability/safety. The background of our people fits this profile exactly.

Our first company, Open Automation and Control (OAC), was formed in June 2000. It is focussed on providing software and certification services based around both international and defacto standards that are appropriate to the industrial marketplace. Standards supported include Simulink / Real-time Workshop, IEC 61131-3 Programming Languages and IEC 61508 Functional Safety.

Right from the beginning, I decided that one of the fundamentals of the group should be partnership and we have therefore formed partnerships in several areas. 

  • Design Partners,  in order that OAC can complement a company’s R&D team, or provide a complete design service, including certification.

  • Technology Partners, principally software suppliers in line with our overall goals but also chip vendors.

  • Clients who we view as partners rather than just customers.

So far this formula has worked well and the company has grown steadily over its three years of existence. This year has seen some new significant developments. 

In February 2003 we were offered the Master Distributorship for ISaGRAF following the acquisition of AlterSys by ICS Triplex.  Since OAC is a vendor independent engineering company, I decided to form a separate company – Tactical Control Solutions (TCS )  - with the sole purpose of distributing and supporting ISaGRAF and related products. These products include software that would be integrated with ISaGRAF and hardware capable of running ISaGRAF.  This is in line with my belief that IEC61131 is THE core standard for the implementation of Open Systems. So far it has not achieved the penetration that was forecast for it for various practical reasons. TCS plans to address these issues and make it easier for companies to implement Open Control.

The real value of IEC 61131 lies in the Function Block Library. The first integration with ISaGRAF is using Simulink / Real-Time Workshop to generate Function Blocks.

IEC 61131 should be a common solution to Control, Acquisition and Safety Applications. OAC has certified ISaGRAF against the standard IEC 61508 for use in SIL3 Safety Systems.

George Turnbull
OACG Chairman

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