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NOA and HELIO put to the test at Smart Factory OWL hackathon workshop

09 May 2024

KEB Automation’s new HELIO HMI management system and NOA (Next Open Automation) IIoT and Edge platform, were put through their paces at the recent Smart Factory OWL workshop.

Machine and plant manufacturers had the opportunity to spend a day visualising machine data and controlling machines. At the end of the one-day workshop, even those participants without any prior knowledge of HELIO and NOA, were able to create meaningful dashboards for plants and machines within a very short period of time.

At the hackathon, which was organised by owl Maschinenbau in Lemgo, Germany, and hosted by the Fraunhofer IOSB-INA, participants included innovation managers, machine operators, developers, service technicians and other interested parties from the mechanical and plant engineering sectors. 

Entitled ‘Industrial APP Marketplace: Simply Networking Machines and Systems – Creating Transparency,’ the workshop gave participants the opportunity to see and use KEB’s latest IIoT solutions for themselves. 

With NOA, users can create their own automation solutions flexibly and easily on the basis of ‘open’ systems. 

The NOA app also includes HELIO, an HMI management system for the platform-independent visualisation of plant and machines. Web-based HMI or SCADA applications can be created quickly and easily with HELIO, without requiring any programming knowledge.

Warehouse and production lines
In order to test NOA and HELIO, edge devices required for this were provided on site. These included several C6 X1 HMI panels from KEB, iConnectors and Raspberry Pis. 

The workshop focused on various plants that are located within the Smart Factory. The ‘Smart Warehouse’ research demonstrator, for example, illustrates how a high-bay warehouse operates. 

In addition, ‘CUNA Production’ is a production line for manufacturing plastic drinking cups, including an injection moulding machine, a laser engraving machine and a handling robot.

Positive results delivered
“In the Smart Factory, the goal of the hackathon was to show how easy it is to create a dashboard for machines with our software in a short period of time,” says Daniel Preuß, Product Owner IIoT Platform at KEB. 

Preuß himself instructed the participants on how to establish communication between the machines and the edge devices. This involved reading and writing machine data from the edge devices via the Smart Factory’s OPC UA server. 

After the instructions, participants worked on various tasks. For example, they created dashboards in HELIO to visualise the position of workpieces in the smart warehouse using sensor data. 

With NOA, an app was created to read data from several edge devices and make this available in the cloud infrastructure (e.g. building flows and data from vibration sensors). The results were then presented by the participants.

Feedback after the workshop was extremely positive: “Despite the simplicity that we achieve through intuitive operation and no-code applications, users were able to process complex tasks with our software

«These include, for example, vibration analyses in the context of predictive maintenance or condition monitoring. A great result that underlines the benefits of NOA and HELIO in practice for machine and plant manufacturers,” adds Preuß. 

The hackathon participants were also surprised that they were able to demonstrate success in such a short space of time.

Many participants had not dealt with no-code solutions in the past, which is why they were convinced by the simplicity of operation. 

Feedback from the workshop was recorded by KEB in order to derive further requirements for NOA and HELIO. The aim: to develop both solutions further in line with specific customer requirements in order to deliver the best possible results.
 
For more information, please visit www.keb.co.uk


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