SALZ Automation System

Automation without limits: it grows with your needs

Solution

Future-proof automation: Flexible. Open. Secure. 

The automation industry is moving towards greater agility and adaptability to meet dynamic market conditions and to take full advantage of the scope of digitalization and networking. New methods of controlling and monitoring processes are being made possible by the convergence of control technology, information technology (IT), and the Internet of Things (IoT). This trend will continue to change the world of automation in the future. 

For the future-focused enhancement of a wide range of applications in but not limited to, mechanical and plant engineering, SALZ Automation provides a full automation solution that not only adapts to change but actively supports it. By utilizing our in-depth automation expertise and collaborating with key partners that uphold our beliefs and ideals, we can effectively integrate the best OT hardware with the most cutting-edge IT technology.   

The result is the highly adaptable SALZ Automation System consisting of open hardware, modular engineering software based on a virtualization concept, and an integrated App Store. This complete automation solution employs Security and Functional Safety according to IEC 61508. The SALZ Automation System is so adaptable that it can meet almost any requirement in the various application areas of industrial automation.

It grows with your needs.

Easily adaptable SALZ Automation System 

Flexibility

The flexibility is created by the combination of a high-performance data exchange using the Data Exchange Layer (D.E.L.) technology and the usage of virtualization technologies such as Docker and Kubernetes. The D.E.L. technology uses mechanisms from the field of Shared Memory and OPC-UA. The two resulting data pools are kept constantly synchronized. This ensures data exchange between real-time and non-real-time applications.

Openness

The openness is shaped by a manufacturer-independent computer architecture with an efficient CPU from Advantech. This ensures that all software components are and will remain portable today and in the future. The operating system is a real-time Linux, which is adapted to the needs of automation technology. These adaptations include determinism and a small and therefore efficient footprint.

Security and Functional Safety

Regarding security, the Data Exchange Layer (D.E.L.) technology contains a user and rights management that is operated by the user to ensure that only the data that should be exchanged is exchanged. The SALZ Automation System also considers Functional Safety in accordance with IEC 61508. 

"We can't think ahead to all solutions for our customers, but we can create the basis for them to find a technical answer to all future challenges."

DR. THOMAS HOLM, CTO SALZ AUTOMATION 

Industrial Control Architecture for tomorrow’s solutions 

 

The architecture of SALZ Automation enables efficient and centralized control and monitoring of industrial automation solutions. It offers flexibility through the integration of different devices and the possibility of cross-communication between controllers to ensure seamless collaboration in complex applications. The use of EtherCAT as the communication protocol supports real-time communication, which is required in many industrial applications. The integrated App Store facilitates the management and maintenance of connected devices and components.

  • DIN Rail Cabinet Control: The DIN rail cabinet-based control system offers a compact and organized solution for housing control components.
  • Scalability and Modularity: SALZ Automation's architecture is designed with scalability in mind. This means it can grow with your business needs. Its modular design allows you to add or upgrade components as required without major disruptions to your existing automation system.
  • Hybrid Configurable Architecture: The hybrid configurable architecture allows you to combine different automation technologies and components seamlessly. Whether you require traditional control methods, advanced AI integration, or IoT connectivity, this architecture can adapt to your requirements.
  • Interoperability: One of the key strengths of this architecture is its ability to enable cross-communication between different controllers.

Main features at a glace

  • Seamless integration of multi-runtime systems with massive message transfer with a delay of less as 5 µs.
  • Execution of many applications side by side on one device with operator controlled user and rights management.
  • Deterministic and non-deterministic data exchange between application to storage using Data Exchange Layer (D.E.L.) Technology.
  • Functional Safety logic (SIL3/PL e) can be created and executed in addition to the normal control logic to eliminate the need of additional safety hardware.
  • Marketplace connection powered by FLECS to use multiple solutions to make a better system.
  • Easy access to deterministic and non-deterministic memory for simple and monitored data exchange between applications.
  • Easy and fast loading and residue-free removal of applications for fast system customization.
  • Allows the controller to be used in a cluster for more computational and storage power.

SALZ Software and Hardware

SALZ Automation Software

SALZ Software

Besides compact and expandable hardware, software makes the difference. Flexibility and adaptability are the key factors in the development of the Linux RT operating system. The applications developed according to the principles of the security-by-design paradigm enable the fast and efficient integration of new applications and the high-performance exchange of data between them.  

The basis for this is Data Exchange Layer (D.E.L.) technology, which enables both real-time and non-real-time applications to exchange data and information. On the other hand, SALZ Automation offers its own IEC 61131-3 programming suite, SALut.Studio, with state-of-the-art IT integration mechanisms, such as GitLab. To give the most freedom of choice Codesys could be used as well. 

Software Architecture

Virtualization is the key to flexibility. The SALZ Automation architecture is based on the approach of loading various applications onto the device using containers. This is efficient and enables clean data management. Through the Data Exchange Layer (D.E.L.) the applications can exchange data and information. The Real Time (RT) memory access enables high performance data sharing and is mirrored with the Non-Real Time (NRT) memory access. 

More about D.E.L.
SALZ Automation Software Architecture
SALZ Automation Hardware

SALZ Hardware

The SALZ Automation AMAX controllers has been specially developed for use in the industrial automation environment. In addition to the use of energy-efficient CPUs (X64-architecture) and the wide range of interfaces, the hardware stands out above all due to its compact design and the many expansion options. Thus, many interesting additional hardware components can be integrated via the built-in PCI Express interface (left side of the device). The I/O modules communicate via EtherCAT Technology in the backplane bus of the controller (right side of the device). With this fast and established technology, the signals of the SALZ Automation I/O modules can be made available to many applications. To transfer safety-critical data, EtherCAT utilizes the Fail Safe over EtherCAT (FSOE) protocol extension. 

The SALZ Automation Controller are complemented with the appropriate products to develop the right solution for your control cabinet. 

In addition to the use of EtherCAT, other communication technologies such as Profinet RT or Ethernet-IP can be integrated. 

Communication Technologies

EtherCAT Technology

EtherCAT stands for "Ethernet for Control Automation Technology" and is a widely used Industrial Ethernet standard used in industrial automation and control technology. EtherCAT is a popular choice for networking automation systems due to its real-time capability and flexibility. Here are some important aspects of EtherCAT:

  • Real-time capability: EtherCAT is optimized for real-time communication and enables the fast transfer of data between different devices and controllers with minimal delay. This is especially important for applications where precise timing is required.
  • Daisy-chain topology: EtherCAT uses a daisy-chain topology where devices are connected in series. This allows for easy cabling and efficient communication between devices.
  • Deterministic communication: EtherCAT offers deterministic communication, which means that data transmission is predictable and there are no unpredictable delays.
  • Short cycle times: EtherCAT allows for very short cycle times, making it ideal for applications where fast response times are required, such as robotics or machine control.
  • Flexible topologies: Although the daisy chain topology is the most common, EtherCAT also supports other topologies such as the star or the tree to meet the requirements of different applications.
  • Cost-efficiency: EtherCAT is known for its cost-efficiency as it is built on standard Ethernet hardware and cables and does not require expensive specialized equipment.
  • Diagnostic and maintenance support: EtherCAT provides extensive diagnostic and maintenance functions to facilitate industrial equipment maintenance and minimize downtime.
PROFINET

PROFINET is a widely used Ethernet-based Industrial Ethernet standard that enables the transmission of real-time data and communication between various automation devices and systems, including sensors, actuators, controllers, and HMI (Human-Machine Interface) devices. Here are some important features of PROFINET:

  • Ethernet technology: PROFINET is based on Ethernet technology, which means it takes advantage of Ethernet's benefits, such as high transmission rates and widespread availability.
  • Real-time capability: PROFINET supports real-time communication, which is critical for industrial automation applications where precise timing requirements are important.
  • Deterministic communication: PROFINET provides deterministic communication, ensuring that data is transmitted in a predictable manner and that there are no unpredictable delays.
  • Integration of IT and OT: PROFINET enables the integration of information technology (IT) and operational technology (OT), which is important to take advantage of digitalization and Industrie 4.0.
  • Flexibility and scalability: PROFINET is flexible and scalable, which allows it to be used in different industries and applications, from manufacturing to process automation.
  • Diagnostic and maintenance functions: PROFINET offers extensive diagnostic and maintenance functions to improve uptime and troubleshooting in industrial plants.
CANopen

CANopen is a widely used communication protocol used in automation technology and embedded systems. It is based on the Controller Area Network (CAN) bus and was developed to facilitate communication and data exchange between different devices and controllers in industrial applications. Here are some important features of CANopen:

  • CAN bus basis: CANopen is based on the CAN bus, a serial communication protocol known for its reliability and robustness. The CAN bus is often used in applications with high requirements for real-time communication.
  • Open standard: CANopen is an open standard, which means that its specifications are publicly available. This promotes interoperability between different manufacturers and enables the development of devices and systems that can communicate with each other.
  • Modularity: CANopen has a modular structure and enables the definition of different device profiles and functions. This facilitates adaptation to specific application requirements.
  • Device communication: CANopen enables communication between different devices, including sensors, actuators, controllers and HMI devices. This is especially important in industrial applications where different components need to work together.
  • Device profiles: CANopen defines specific device profiles that facilitate communication between devices. These profiles define how data is exchanged and interpreted.
  • Service and object directory: CANopen uses Service Data Object (SDO) to organize access to data and services. This allows easy configuration and data exchange between devices.
  • Real-time capability: In some variants of CANopen, such as CANopen Safety or CANopen FD (Flexible Data-Rate), real-time communication is supported, which is important for safety-critical applications and applications with fast response times.
Modbus

Modbus technology plays a crucial role in connecting and controlling devices in industrial automation systems, making it a fundamental technology for many industries. Its simplicity, flexibility, and widespread support have contributed to its enduring popularity in the world of industrial automation.. Modbus technology is primarily used to facilitate communication between devices in a supervisory control and data acquisition (SCADA) system, programmable logic controllers (PLCs), and other industrial automation components.

Key characteristics and features of Modbus technology include:

  1. Serial and Ethernet Communication: Modbus supports both serial communication (RS-232, RS-485) and Ethernet-based communication (Modbus TCP/IP). This flexibility allows it to be used in a wide range of industrial environments.

  2. Master-Slave Architecture: In a Modbus network, one device acts as the master, while other devices are slaves. The master initiates communication requests, and the slaves respond to these requests. This architecture is suitable for polling data from multiple devices.

  3. Supported Data Types: Modbus supports various data types, including digital inputs/outputs (binary), analog inputs/outputs (integer and floating-point values), and more. This makes it suitable for transmitting different types of data in industrial processes.

  4. Function Codes: Modbus communication uses function codes to specify the type of operation to be performed (e.g., read holding registers, write coils). Different function codes are used for different operations, providing versatility in data manipulation.

  5. Modbus RTU and Modbus ASCII: These are two common serial communication variants of Modbus. Modbus RTU uses binary encoding, while Modbus ASCII uses ASCII characters for communication. Modbus TCP/IP is used over Ethernet.

  6. Error Checking: Modbus includes error-checking mechanisms like CRC (Cyclic Redundancy Check) to ensure data integrity during transmission.

  7. Simple and Lightweight: Modbus is known for its simplicity and efficiency, making it suitable for resource-constrained devices and real-time applications.

  8. Open Protocol: Modbus is an open protocol, which means that it is not proprietary and can be implemented by various manufacturers. This has contributed to its widespread adoption.

  9. Master-Slave Limitations: One limitation of Modbus is that it's designed for point-to-point communication, and it may not be the best choice for complex, large-scale industrial networks. For such networks, other protocols like OPC (OLE for Process Control) may be more suitable.

  10. Security Concerns: Since Modbus was initially designed for use in controlled industrial environments, it lacks robust security features. In modern applications, additional security measures are often necessary to protect against cyber threats.

SALZ Automation with integrated App Store

Integrated App Store

SALZ Automation offers a marketplace for automation-based applications. Our devices are integrated with the marketplace to let users install the applications that they want. This marketplace has an easy to install and update application with a web interface. There are various specifically designed software for hardware systems. This software can let anyone manage SCADA, PLC or HMI display.   

SALZ relies on the marketplace of FLECS for modular reloadable apps, so that the control system can be quickly and safely adapted, expanded and kept up to date. With this adaptable marketplace SALZ can also offer its own apps, such as a specialized, multi-instance CODESYS app or the soft PLC from Logicals and make them available to customers in a fully integrated form. 

Go to FLECS Website

Functional Safety on board

Who knows what the future holds? The use of functional safety is an integral component of modern automation systems. The SALZ Automation system makes it easy to add safety to existing hardware and software. In simple cases this is implemented with our Saftey modules, in rather more complex applications with our FSOE Master (Functional Safety over EtherCAT) in combination with SALut Studio.  

Would you like to receive more information about our automation solution? 

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