Kheiron, the integrated service platform
The latest product from Arcsom is the service platform Kheiron, with an accompanying app, soon available in the PLCnext Store. "With Kheiron, our customers can monitor and control their industrial machines via the cloud. This is made possible only thanks to PLCnext Technology: we add the controller to the machine, which is then linked to the app. That way we establish a Plug and Play connection (PnP) with the cloud platform."
"Kheiron is particularly popular with plant builders and lessors of standalone machines," says Ronald. "These machines are placed for a limited time period and naturally aren't integrated into a permanent production unit. PLCnext makes this (temporary) connection possible without too much time or effort."
"In addition, the owner of the machines maintains a clear overview, thanks to the connection with Kheiron," Ronald continues. "Companies can collect data about their machine, monitor maintenance and even set alarms - all remotely."
"The service platform Kheiron allows rental companies to manage their machines remotely and lets them integrate the machine into their production, thanks to PLCnext Technology."
"In terms of open source, PLCnext is miles ahead of the competition. It lays a solid foundation for high-level applications such as data mining."
Ronald Vanden Driessche
A brand new generation of connectivity opportunities
PLCnext Technology makes it possible to connect Kheiron to industrial machines. Wasn't this feasible before? "Yes, it was," says Ronald. "But it meant a lot more work. PLCnext makes connecting to the cloud easier than ever. The fact that you can also simply set up the controller using an IT programming language plays an important role in this. You won't find this quick and easy way of connecting anywhere else."
The open source element of PLCnext Technology was also a decisive factor for Arcsom. "In that respect PLCnext is truly miles ahead of the competition," Ronald claims. "Through the PLCnext community you can quickly reach a great deal of experts in IoT, who are connecting within an industrial setting, among others. This capacity to keep refining and improving your ideas is extremely valuable. Moreover, the PLCnext Store provides a space where you can market an elaborated idea and make it available to the general public, as we do with our connector app for Kheiron."
A smart foundation for data mining and more
An additional advantage of PLCnext, according to Ronald, is that it lays the foundation for high-level applications such as data mining. "We have noticed a distinctly increased interest in this, although it is often misunderstood. To be successful in data mining, it is essential to get the basics just right. This means first looking at the source - the machines on the shop floor - and making sure everything is captured correctly. This brings it back to our speciality: ensuring that specialists can get to work with the right data and thus generate valuable insights. With PLCnext, unlocking data has become a lot easier: because the IT layer is also included in the controller, there is a seamless integration from cloud to controller and vice versa."
Ambitious expansion plans – powered by PLCnext
PLCnext opens up even more opportunities for Arcsom. "On the one hand it works as an accelerator for our service platform Kheiron, but it also helps us grow as an integrator," explains Ronald. "PLCnext makes our offer scalable for standalone business, such as charging stations or rental installations. The service platform is configured once to suit the customer, the PLCnext controller is set up and this is repeated as often as necessary. Accordingly, the development cost per project is much lower, which in turn opens up different perspectives."