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Internet of Things Case Study: Remote Control via PROFINET

eWON remote solutions from HMS Industrial Networks allow the spa experience “The World of Elements” to be controlled remotely. The solution allows remote access to the PROFINET-based control the system.

Modern technology allows you to do a lot of things remotely. Soaking in a spa is not one of them (at least not yet). However, with eWON remote solutions, water treatment specialists Aquila Wasseraufbereitungstechnik GmbH and their sister company Autech Tesla have found a way to do maintenance and troubleshooting of their spa system “The World of Elements” from any location. This is an absolute necessity as their customers may need immediate assistance in case of a critical malfunction.

4 elements (Medium)

A spa experience for all senses

“The World of Elements” is a spa concept from the German water treatment specialists Aquila Wasseraufbereitungstechnik GmbH. The concept is customized for each spa or water park, but the basic concept is to let the visitors experience the four elements – water, fire, air and earth – through advanced technology involving water, sound, scent, audio, lighting, and laser projection. The result is an astounding experience for all senses where the visitor is truly surrounded by the four elements.

The first World-of-Elements installation can be found at Aquapark in Minsk, Belarus.

Fire and air. Two of the elements that the vistors experience when walking through the rain cave at Aquapark in Minsk.

Fire and air. Two of the elements that the visitors experience when walking through the rain cave at Aquapark in Minsk.

Their “rain cave” is a 20 meter long tunnel in which visitors experience the four elements. “We designed the rain cave together with the customer and then our sister company Autech Tesla Automation installed and commissioned the technology,” explains Laura Clärding, brand manager for The World of Elements.

“Our concept is complete, meaning that we offer everything from conceptual ideas, construction, technical design, and maintenance. We design everything ourselves except for the laser projection where we took in some help from an external consultant.” says Laura Clärding.

The project in Minsk has been very well received and Aquila and Autech Tesla are now working on their second World-of-Elements project in Switzerland.

A mammoth water project

But setting up a technical system to control water, sound, audio and visuals in perfect harmony is not an easy task, not even for an experienced system integrator like Autech Tesla. Everything needs to be coordinated, so network determinism is critical. That’s where PROFINET comes in. “It was certainly a challenging project, just due to the sheer size of the installation,” says Frank Weiß, CEO at Autech Tesla Automation. “Just when it comes to the water flows, 5000 cubic meters of water have to be treated per hour. That equals the content of two Olympic pools. Every hour.”

Autech Tesla did all the technical installations while the construction was made together with a local contractor in Belarus.

Remotely accessing the system

Controlling the system are two highly reliable SIMATIC S7- 400H PLCs from Siemens which make sure that waterflows, lights, sound etc. change between the four elements in perfect synchronization via PROFINET. To control the rain cave, Autech Tesla has their own visualization system which is displayed on HMIs in the Aquapark control room. This visualization system can also be accessed remotely since Autech Tesla has installed an eWON router connected to the PLC.

How it works

How-it-worksThe eWON router is connected to the Siemens S7-400 PLC via Ethernet. The router communicates with the cloud-based Talk2M service from eWON where Autech Tesla can log in to access their control system. It is just like being connected on site — Users see exactly what they would see on the HMIs in Minsk.

“We trained the local staff on using the system, and we really haven’t had any issues with it since the installation,” says Frank Weiß. “However, remote access is a very important security feature for us as a service provider. In case of a critical malfunction, it is simply not feasible that the water attraction should stand still while we find plane tickets to Belarus. Since we install water treatment systems all over Europe, remote access is simply a necessity.”

Because the control system is based on a PROFINET network, it is also an open network. Multiple protocols can run over its standard Ethernet network. This allows them to ‘drill down’ into devices that have a built-in web server just by pulling up the IP Address of the device.

More information: HMS Industrial Networks, the remote solution: www.hms-networks.com / www.ewon.biz

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