Industrial Automation

Embedded Solutions drive the Digital Transformation

Industrial automation covers a whole range of technologies and manufacturing methods. Some of those change rapidly, others keep their current state. This can even be seen in small factories: Old, sturdy machines are standing beneath leading edge new laser cutters. This mixture is not really a problem, since the older machinery is typically reliable and replacing it with a modern version would cost the owner a fortune.

The software world is ticking in a way faster cycle and does not really match to existing infrastructures. In the past, the industry solved that problem by means of PLCs (programmable controller). It allows to keep a software installation that matches to the machine. In fact, the operating system and the middle ware stays at the same version, while the user just programs the machine in a high level interpreter language, often with a graphical interface. This abstraction is very useful and keeps many business running for a very long time.

However, there are few issues related with that approach:

Safety norms are changing over the years. This can make the old software framework obsolete.

Older software and operating systems are bound to a certain hardware configuration often. Computer hardware is outdated quickly.

New Requirements in the Industry 4.0

Distributed systems depend on software being moved between software systems with different processor architecture. Today, the x86 processors are no longer dominating the market.

Smaller and cheaper control systems are needed to respond faster and in a more economic way to react on request from the market.

Industrial robots and humans are working side by side and modern Safety mechanisms are required to avoid injuries. These may comprise processors running in lockstep mode or any other measures known from the Automotive, Railway or even Avionics markets.

With factories running in 24/7 mode, high availability also has become an important issue. This also includes reconfiguration of existing software and hardware in very little time.

Our Solution: Resource and Time Partitioning

Many of these problems can be solved with combining virtualization to real-time controlling capability. This is where PikeOS excels by its unique resource and time partitioning features.

Guest OS and Virtualization

Keep your Legacy Code alive by means of Virtualization

PikeOS allows to execute your existing software within a virtual machine, called resource partition. It does not matter whether your application used to run on the bare metal or had been using an operating system. PikeOS can execute guest operating systems in para virtualization or hardware virtualization mode while still maintaining real-time capabilities. This makes you independent from discontinued hardware platforms.

Connection, Network Stack, Linux Partition

Add new Functionality (e.g. Network Stack) by means of a Linux Partition

In case your legacy software cannot be extended by a network stack, PikeOS allows to run your application parallel to a Linux system in a separate partition on the same hardware. Your application keeps the real-time capabilities and can still be certified according to the highest level. The Linux communication layer connect to the outside world and does not contribute to the functional Safety of the system. This is called mixed-criticality.

Safe Communication Channels

Isolate Legacy Code (safe, but unsecure) from the Outside by means of dedicated Communication Channels

It often happens that existing software is required to be connected to the outside world. However, the code had been written with functional Safety in mind and does not withstand any Security evaluation. PikeOS enables you to setup a secure gateway with a a firewall  and an intrusion detection system. The legacy application communicates with the gateway via dedicated surveillance communication channels only.

Migration of multiple Boards into one System

Save Hardware Cost by Migration of multiple Boards into one System

PikeOS allows to execute multiple guest operating systems on the same hardware which significantly reduces the total cost of ownership.

Industry 4.0, PLC and Edge/Cloud Computing

Industry 4.0, PLC and Edge/Cloud Computing

Here we show three solutions combining an IEC 61499-compliant PLC with cloud connectivity for common Security concerns in edge devices. 

Learn more (PDF)

High Availability Systems

High Availability Systems

High availability (HA) is a property of Safety-critical systems in order to detect failures and recover from those, while still keeping the system’s main functionality active without interruption. In our whitepaper we examine the use cases and how these can be managed if the main core of the system’s computational capabilities is based on a separation kernel OS. 

Download the Whitepaper

Smart Factory to fulfil Customer on Demand and Customization Request

Smart Factory, connecting multiple Machines in Order to fulfil Customer on Demand and Customization Request

Building a smart factory with multiple and heterogeneous machines requires connectivity, coordination, flexibility and re-configuration on the fly. Especially when customers are entitled to order custom goods. In extreme cases there can be lots with just one single production cycle.

Operator and Robot working Hand in Hand

Safety IEC 61508: Highest Level, Operator and Robot working Hand in Hand

In the past, industrial Safety used to avoid software issues  by means of an emergency buzzer. Nowadays, software is capable to monitor human-robot interaction with 3D cameras, enabling automatic collision/distance detection. In general, the trend is moving towards highly complex software which can get people killed or injured if something goes wrong. However, this requires certification up to the highest levels. Coming from the Avionics world, this is where PikeOS has its strengths.

Mining Excavator

PikeOS and Linux used in Mining Excavator

Bucyrus (today Caterpillar) chose PikeOS for IP protection, investment protection and obsolescence management. PikeOS was ported to a new hardware platform and configured to provide two different partitions, one running legacy code on a POSIX API, and the other running new applications on Linux. Software investments on the excavator product line are protected and complemented by Linux programs running within the Linux partition. Secure partitioning mechanisms ensure each application remains independent. Existing IP is protected in its own partition and cannot be accessed from Linux.

Read the Press Release

Industrial IoT & Industry 4.0

PikeOS is the best real-time IEC 61508 Safety certification solution.
And our Industrial-grade ELinOS development tool offers all you need: Compiler, linker and debugger.


More about PikeOS      More about ELinOS

Functional Safety

Many Industrial products have Safety requirements according to IEC 61508. PikeOS is the best certification solution for three reasons: small size, criticality partitioning, and unparalleled company support for the certification process.

The PikeOS partitioning concept makes it possible for applications of various levels of criticality to be certified for their individual required Safety levels while running securely in parallel on the same hardware platform. Even more important for certification is a competent and reliable partner who does not leave you in a tight spot when it comes to documentation, requirements and tests.

IEC 61508 Certification Kit

Security

The PikeOS separation kernel itself is small in terms of implementation and its little number of system calls allows comprehensive evaluation and validation. As a matter of fact, PikeOS (4.2.3 Build S5577 x86_64, ARM v7/8) has passed the Common Criteria EAL3+ certification.

Common Criteria Certification Kit

Benefits

Extreme Flexibility provides Independence from Suppliers in Hardware and Software Choise

PikeOS supports a broad range of hardware architectures and provides interfaces for a wide array of guest OSs. It is easy to add additional architectures and interfaces (including for legacy code) and therefore to manage hardware obsolescence.

Partitioning provides the Basis for a pragmatic Linux Strategy

PikeOS offers an integrated Linux guest operating system to include Linux or other open-source features like network, GUI or web server. Your own intellectual properties, real-time functions and safety-critical applications run in separate partitions.

Integrated Safety reduces Certification Cost

Applications of various levels of criticality and Security are safely separated from one another in distinct partitions and certified separately.

Customer Support

SYSGO supports its customers with own resources, engineers, workshops and trainings, as well as with artefacts and provision of source code.

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