„The CODESYS Automation Server simplifies the development, maintenance, and management of control applications considerably. Our customers benefit from reduced costs and a skyrocketing competitive edge!” - Roger Kunz, CEO Inasoft

Success Story: Inasoft GmbH

Inasoft and Autowaschtechnik AWT AG

Autowaschtechnik AWT AG sells turnkey car wash centers under the brand name "Soft Car Wash". In addition to optimum cleaning results, AWT AG attaches particular importance to the economical use of resources as well as careful waste and process water cleaning. The use of intelligent control technology in the plants is of vital importance in achieving these goals. The company relies on CODESYS-based systems for this purpose. The associated control applications and visualizations are developed and optimized by the experienced Swiss system integrator Inasoft GmbH.

More about Inasoft GmbH: inasoft.ch

The Problem

With more than 40 plant locations, various challenges had to be overcome. It was difficult to keep track of which application version was running on a plant and where the associated source code was located. Also, the staff needed a way to access both applications and the code, especially when they were not at the company location. However, in order to perform application updates, access the visualization or debug, technicians had to be at the plant site. The same was true for adjusting parameters in order to optimize wash results. This meant a lot of travel. Even more urgent was the need to find a way to protect against long downtimes caused by defective PLCs, and thus against loss of operating revenue. The company was looking for a solution that would allow a swift reaction on the software side.

The Solution

As Inasoft sees it, the CODESYS Automation Server provides answers to the challenges described above. The CODESYS Edge Gateway neatly separates the controller networks from the Internet, thus ensuring a secure connection between the controllers and the Internet. It just takes a few clicks to establish the TLS-encrypted and certificate-based communication to the Automation Server in the cloud, easily and securely. There is no more need for proprietary complex VPN solutions, nor is third-party software required for remote access.

Inasoft finds all controllers connected to the Edge Gateways by performing a network scan in the Automation Server's web interface. These controllers are then included in the Automation Server's administration at the click of a mouse. For a better overview, Inasoft can display the controllers either in table and tile form, or in the form of graphically structured topology views. User-defined tags additionally help to establish order.

In order to provide controllers with application updates, Inasoft uses the Server's own repository for binary and source code, as well as the digital twin of a controller. On the one hand, this ensures that authorized persons can access protected data from anywhere. On the other hand, technicians can roll out application updates to the desired controllers within seconds, without having to be on site. All this is complemented by the Ticket System integrated in the Server. The Automation Server knows which application was running on a broken controller. The Ticket System allows for replacement controllers to be equipped with the appropriate applications without any programming knowledge.

Thanks to the Automation Server, Inasoft can now also access the visualizations and thus the user interface of the plant controllers. A separate connection is no longer necessary, as the visualization is automatically tunneled through the Edge Gateway via the Automation Server to the displaying browser at the push of a button.

With the CODESYS Automation Server, Inasoft solves typical tasks that operators and manufacturers of car wash systems have to face today. Planned features such as the ability to update the PLC firmware via the Automation Server and the hosting of remote Git repositories from CODESYS complement the future use of the CODESYS Automation Server.

For a more detailed description of this CODESYS Automation Server application, read this publications:

A clean solution: Using the possibilities of Industry 4.0 for car wash management
How plants are digitized


Inasoft | Roger Kunz und Ruedi Gloor
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Screenshot CODESYS Automation Server Debugger
Screenshot CODESYS Automation Server Topology