Publication/Press Release

Modular Communication Data Bridge for Industry 4.0

Challenge of the heterogeneous Factory:
Flexible Data Bridge harmonizes structures and allows standardized data exchange with the OPC UA
One of the most complicated processes in connecting machines and plants to superior systems like MES / ERP (Manufacturing Execution System / Enterprise Planning System) is dealing with different venders, brands, protocols, bus systems and grades of intelligence of machines and plants. In the past automation and integration expert Soft Rock Technologies Sdn Bhd did for this reason mostly use PLC systems as “Multi-Gateway”. From digital to analogue, from serial to fieldbus, from wired ethernet to wireless connection, everything was possible. But a PLC still remains a PLC, especially if the gathered data needs to be further processed and prepared for a superior MES / ERP. This is much easier with IT related tools and international standards like SQL data bases, programming frames, high standard programming languages, communication concepts and web based methods.
Pic 1 : Alois Traeger and Wilhelm Schellenberger with their Partners

Pic 2 : Smart i4 Frame Concept

Dipl. Ing. Wilhelm Schellenberger

MD of Soft Rock Technologies Sdn. Bhd
To achieve all these requirements, we designed an own Smart Integration Frame Solution (“Smart_i4_Frame”) with the data bridge “CoDaBix®” from the German Company Traeger Industry Components as core application. This combination allows retrieving and downloading data from and to subordinated systems as well as pre-preparing and harmonizing them for further processing. The method is applicable for “Green-” and “Greyfield” requirements and also 100% compliant to Industry 4.0 standard. To turn this into a success story for developer and customer, a close and efficient communication between Traeger and us was the basis and an international trustful cooperation was necessary to allow a fast and flexible fulfilment of all requirements for each single project. Works in Greenfield are especially uncomplicated, because everything can be planned and optimised in the preparatory phase. The Brownfield however poses a great challenge for any upgrade to a Smart Factory

Dipl.-Ing. Alois Traeger

Development and Product Manager of Traeger Industry Components GmbH
One of the central challenges of Industry 4.0 is the dynamic inclusion of existing structures. Moreover, ability to parametrize during current operations is especially crucial. You can’t simply automate an entire factory or create a communicative connection overnight, but changes have to be implemented step by step. In doing so, we are using up-to-date standards such as OPC UA and web technology for CoDaBix®. A machine is configured on demand and does not have to be stopped. CoDaBix® works in full duplex, thus the user can also work with the latest MES and PPS system and control older machines. CoDaBix® interposes and simulates everything these plants otherwise would not understand. This way, the data bridge creates a completely linear new system

Pic 3 : The “Heart” CoDaBix

Standardised Communication Platform for Smart Factories

Dipl. Ing. Wilhelm Schellenberger

MD of Soft Rock Technologies Sdn. Bhd
The deciding factor for our work with CoDaBix® was the modern, data base supported concept with a worldwide standardized communication platform for industry 4.0 – OPC UA. CoDaBix® provides that, along with the REST / JSON interfaces, to install your own applications and easily join external systems. Also, it fulfils the precondition of a bidirectional link of subordinated systems via plug-in concept. In the “heart” of the data bridge, the CoDaBix® Core, the necessary requirements are implemented to enable the OPC UA communication and structure. The Core can be reached via dedicated interfaces for controllers or even devices like e.g. a temperature / pressure sensor. The most likely proprietary tag names of different machines and plants can be pre-prepared already in this stage to match a customer wide standard tagging concept!

Dipl.-Ing. Alois Traeger

Development and Product Manager of Traeger Industry Components GmbH
The real reason for the development of CoDaBix® was the need to connect different technologies. We have also created tools and frameworks to give developers the opportunity to become active themselves and to enable greater flexibility and adaptability. Regardless if a real machine, an internal variable or a text file is connected, it will appear parameterized from the outside in the way the user has determined. This means, that any system can be easily connected. It is only important to have an interface for this connection, either as a PLC or a simple digital input where also older machines can be connected

Modular Adaptability by a Plug-in System

Dipl. Ing. Wilhelm Schellenberger

MD of Soft Rock Technologies Sdn. Bhd
Prior solutions offered by other providers are often not as flexible, additionally they have to carry a lot of older pre-industry 4.0 developed relicts and handicaps. Thanks to CoDaBix®, we can offer a modern up to date concept, fully complying with the international standard Industry 4.0 and including the word wide communication standard OPC_UA. Our close and fruitful partnership with Traeger did not only increase our customer recognition but also our commercial success and benefit! Since the beginning of our cooperation with Traeger Industry Components GmbH we were able to convince a lot of our customers in the Asian market to implement a fully integrated automation solution

Dipl.-Ing. Alois Traeger

Development and Product Manager of Traeger Industry Components GmbH
CoDaBix® is created in a modular way, and therefore can be extended as a system anytime. This makes maintenance and development much easier. If there is a problem within a Plug-in, it can be targeted and repaired, while an extension of individual Plug-ins is possible independently from each other. This way the system can be scaled so that only the required resources are used and the system is not burdened unnecessarily. A user does not have to adopt all features but can limit to those he needs for operating his plant. This makes for cost optimizing planning. If a Plug-in is developed specifically for a user, each user of CoDaBix® profits, because it enters the standard portfolio. This lowers development cost by general access and allows for a quick product maturity through numerous users. This way, the system is constantly maintained and kept up to date according to the user requirements (URS). We constantly extend CoDaBix® and allow the integration of machines under vastly different conditions and structures, according to the clients’ wishes. Even OEM adaptations with individual branding are provided by the communication technology experts

Soft Rock Technologies Sdn. Bhd

Soft Rock Technologies Sdn. Bhd. was established in 2010 by Wilhelm Schellenberger and has its headquarters in Penang as well as a project office in Kuala Lumpur. The company is specialised in upgrading and integration of machines, plants and facilities to superior Systems (Greenfield- und Brownfield). Soft Rock Technologies owns exclusive sales rights for CoDaBix in Southeast Asia

Traeger Industry Components GmbH

Traeger Industry Components GmbH was founded in 1992 in Etzenricht, Germany, by Alois Traeger as a personal company and converted into a LLC in 1998. The company’s focus is developing software drivers for data exchange between PLCs. As experts for communication technology they focus on the connection between M2M and M2superior Systems
Publications in following Technical Magazines
  • NOVEMBER 2017, SMART ENGINEERING (GERMANY)
  • NOVEMBER 2017, SPS MAGAZIN (GERMANY)