In its "Energy" division, the Fliegl Group focuses on saving and recovering valuable energy. The "RondoDry" treatment plant for liquid manure and digested residues evaporates up to 4,000 m³ of water per year, thus removing around 70 % of the ammonium nitrogen from the liquid manure. As a result, the liquid manure contains less nitrogen when spread on the land, and storage, transport, and spreading costs are significantly reduced. Another positive effect of the treatment: Heat and biogas are released and can be used for heating and power generation.
The RondoDry is controlled with SoftPLC systems from the CODESYS Store. When installed on suitable Linux devices, they turn into high-performance controllers - also multicore-capable, provided that the CPUs support this. Parameterization and commissioning of the systems are carried out via the integrated CODESYS visualization.
More about Fliegl GmbH: fliegl-energy.com
Updates to applications installed on RondoDry dryers that have already been delivered were previously imported into the control system via USB stick. This task was performed by service technicians or the operator on site. After restarting the control system, the updated application was executed.
Although this process seems very simple, it does involve certain pitfalls: For example, the service technician or operator must first make sure which version of the application is being used and which systems in the field are already up to date. Errors in this regard have repeatedly led to system failures in the past - and thus to expensive on-site service calls.
Fliegl technicians were already using additional software for remote maintenance. However, a separate communication channel had to be established and maintained for each individual installation.
"How can we use Internet technologies to roll out updates faster and generate further added value?" For Fliegl, the answer to this question lies in the CODESYS Automation Server. Therefore, Fliegl is successively connecting RondoDry systems that have already been delivered to the CODESYS Automation Server.
For communication between the controller and the Automation Server, Fliegl uses the CODESYS Edge Gateway. In the process, the CODESYS Automation Server automatically manages the necessary certificates for encrypted and secure communication. As soon as a control is connected to the Automation Server, it can be displayed as a digital twin. This immediately shows which versions of firmware and application are installed. An application update can now be transmitted with a single click.
The Fliegl automation engineers store all applications in the CODESYS Automation Server, which saves them a local project repository. They can access the source code from anywhere in the world and open and edit it with a mouse click in their local instance of the CODESYS Development System. The updated version can be uploaded back to the Server and from there downloaded to the desired controllers. All plants can be graphically arranged and tracked in the topology view of the Server platform. This makes it very easy to get an overview, for example in the form of a map providing markers for each plant.
With the newly integrated Data Analyzer, service requirements can be identified immediately - even before malfunctions occur. For the future, the Fliegl Group plans to completely eliminate the need for additional remote maintenance tools by working exclusively with the Server platform.
A more detailed description of this application of the CODESYS Automation Server can be found in the german article "Im Praxiseinsatz: CODESYS Automation Server - Landwirtschaft goes Industrie 4.0"