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The necessity to improve the current automation concepts for cost reduction in plant engineering represents a widely discussed problem. Although research has been developing solutions for this problem area for quite some time on the basis of decentralized automation concepts, industrial companies have been showing reluctance concerning their broad application in practice. This contribution discusses the potential for use of decentralized automation of industrial plants in the context of strategic developments. The ramifications of such technological perspectives to the different stakeholders in an industrial life cycle, their interests and their processes are discussed and a method for the evaluation of decentralized solutions over their entire life cycle is presented, offering a basis for a well founded assessment of their cost effectiveness.
Date of Conference: 15-18 Sept. 2008