The current trend of component-oriented software architectures has influenced the development of industrial automation systems (IAS). However, the management of large-scale, component-based IAS still remains a big challenge because of typical requirements such as zero-downtime operation and real-time constraints. Furthermore the required knowledge for the maintenance and runtime reconfiguration is often tacit and relies on individual stakeholders’ capabilities - an error-prone and risky strategy in safety critical environments. This talk presents an approach which makes extensive use of product line variability modeling techniques to manage the lifecycle of IAS and to automate the maintenance and reconfiguration process. The first part of this talk will introduce the model-based approach and illustrate it using a demonstrative example. The second part will introduce the new standard for distributed automation and control systems IEC 61499 in deep and illustrate its suitability to be combined with the initially proposed Product-line approach.