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Design methods in the area of automation are dominated by the function block approach. These blocks represent a kind of object with an internal behaviour. The blocks interact via Input and output variables with their environment. In order to improve the engineering and the system design, other approaches like method invocations coming from computer science have to be considered. One promising approach among others is the usage of ports for the interaction of objects. This article describes an approach for a distributed, object-oriented automation system, based on objects interacting via the port concept.