Manufacturing enterprises are facing new challenges caused by unprecedented changes due to volatile market demands. Such changes have direct impact to the design, implementation and operation of automation systems in the domain of automotive production. An in-depth study in the activities of building and operating automation systems in the domain of automation manufacturing has revealed weaknesses in current practices and in particular an inability to cope effectively with production changes. It is envisaged that a component-based approach will enable an automation system to be designed, implemented and modified quickly and effectively, thereby increasing the agility, responsiveness and changeability of the system. This paper investigates the impact of market demands on the lifecycle of automation systems in the automotive manufacturing and proposes a novel component-based approach suitable for automation system design and implementation.

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