A key property of modern automation and control systems is the intensive crosscommunication and interaction between system entities and their dynamically changing environment. The critical issue of such systems is real-time communication established with different communication networks and/or field buses. The requirements for communication have an important impact to the overall system behavior and therefore they must be considered during the system engineering too. An integrative approach supporting software-, hardwareand communication engineering is still missing. Therefore this paper presents the model-based FRONTICS approach to engineer component-based automation and control applications, their hardware and the component's communication.