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Collaboration between different companies and locally distributed parts of a company is a hot issue, in means of industrial communication. The challenge is to engineer such a seamless communication network of Distributed Control Systems (DCSs) considering all customer, security and safety requirements. This infrastructure is typically based on heterogeneous communication characteristic which has to be faced by the engineering concepts and tools. This paper describes solutions which are part of the Engineering of the homonymous European IST NMP Integrated Project Virtual Automation Networks - VAN. The concept of Virtual Automation Networks is to provide a reliable and secure end-to-end industrial communication connection which is similar to Virtual Private Networks known from the office world. In VAN, existing IT technologies will be extended and adapted to meet specific industrial requirements such as Real-Time, Safety and Security as scalable features.
Date of Conference: 10-13 Feb. 2009