When implementing their digitalization strategies, companies are often confronted with the challenge that existing infrastructures and technologies are difficult to link together. But it is precisely this networking that is an important basis for comprehensive digitalization and automation. Innomat-Automation AG is tackling this obstacle with “Kalisto IoT” – an innovative, modular and flexible IoT system. It enables “Machine-to-Machine Communication” without any weak points. This means that different devices or systems can exchange data with each other smoothly and can therefore be integrated into a holistic automation process.
The challenge: Connecting existing infrastructures and technologies
One example of the successful integration of Kalisto IoT is the dosing systems from Asprotec AG. Among other things, the company equips many dosing systems worldwide with control technology. Among many plants, there is also a producer of security inks in the field of banknotes, security documents, and stamps. A few years ago, the end customer decided to modernize and bring up-to-date a plant for highly viscous inks.
The system was originally equipped by Asprotec AG with S7-300 technology, ET200s and Simatic WinCC. As part of a retrofit, the system was equipped with new control technology to enable integration with SAP.
The control system for the dosing system with 44 valves was equipped with a Siemens S7-1517 controller and three S7-1512C mixers. The decentralized ET200s modules were also replaced by ET200sp and the Profibus system by Profinet. The system is operated via WinCC 7.5 SP1 and TP700 panels. The software architecture was redeveloped to make full use of the S7-1500 controller.
The dosing orders are entered directly in SAP. The data is then transferred to the system controller. The control system handles the dosing and reports the completed order, including the batch number of raw materials used, back to SAP. This enables complete tracking of batches and orders in real time via SAP.
The solution: Kalisto IoT as a communication node between the ERP system and the system
Communication via Kalisto IoT is predestined for applications such as the example mentioned above. The open, modular and highly customizable IoT system is multi-client capable and makes it possible to set up several independent systems on one cloud server. Alternatively – and preferred by many users – it is possible to use exclusively local server infrastructures instead. This benefits the security of the data. The data required for key performance indicators (KPIs) is collected in real time via common interfaces such as MQTT or OPC UA and exchanged with ERP applications, for example.
Kalisto IoT is operated independently of the operating system via web-based dashboards that can be fully customized to the user’s needs. The communication between different machines can be extended with a logic component. This ensures even smoother and more automated processes.
A major advantage of relying on Kalisto IoT as a communication hub in automation is the ability to integrate customer-specific modules and the flexible scalability. This allows project developers to adapt the system individually to the needs of the customer company and let it “grow” with the business.
Kalisto IoT demonstrates its flexibility in a completely different use case: Instead of a color dosing system, this involves recipe and order management. In this scenario, an aging dosing machine was replaced by Kalisto-based software. It features a modern client-server capable C#.Net interface and an SQL database that can be hosted both locally and within the corporate network. Communication with Siemens controllers is also done through OPC UA, encrypted for maximum data security. In addition to the traditional order and recipe management, which Kalisto software fully covers, the management of component container data is an integral part of the system. Synchronization of the database with the PLC ensures a continuously updated inventory of managed components.
Exports to PDF or Excel can be created for analysis or statistical evaluations outside the system. Additional useful features, such as “intelligent order planning” or “color strength calculations,” are integrated as modules into the Kalisto solution.
KPIs can be retrieved either from Kalisto or from other external systems and stored in higher-level data lakes. Asprotec AG enables the integration of IoT interfaces and applications such as maintenance and production management apps as well as quality management.
The result: Highly flexible and scalable IoT communication for a wide range of industries
The two use cases show that Innomat’s Kalisto system covers the essential needs of a wide range of industries with regard to digitalization. Kalisto IoT offers the company completely new opportunities in various industries. Thanks to the individual adaptability, Innomat-Automation AG’s B2B customers can raise their processes to a new level of efficiency and productivity.
While Innomat-Automation acts as a developer at Kalisto, the company’s integrators and OEMs take over the implementation of customer projects and assist customers with maintenance and support. Innomat is keen to find suitable partner companies that can implement Kalisto for B2B customers and program and further develop the solution themselves according to the needs of the respective end customer. In this way, Innomat aims to expand the Kalisto ecosystem and make it available to even more industries.