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An approach to intelligent process automation based on distributed planning agents is presented in this paper. According to this approach a higher-level agent-based automation layer supervises an ordinary process automation system. The purpose of the agent layer is to monitor the operation of the lower-level automation system and semi-autonomously reconfigure its control logic when needed. The agent layer operates as a distributed planning and plan execution system, which creates and runs reconfiguration sequences on the ordinary automation system in order to adapt it to various situations. In this way the approach aims to increase the operational flexibility of the whole automation system. The approach is demonstrated with a laboratory test process where process startup scenarios have been imitated. Experiences from the initial test runs are also described.