Ready for IoT
The task was to connect existing charging stations for lead batteries installed in forklifts with the Internet of things (IoT). For this purpose, PASO (Pataky Software GmbH) and Ginzinger electronic systems developed a CAN gateway to collect and process the charging data from the forklifts and send it to the cloud via Ethernet or WLAN.
In almost all software projects, once the initial basic software has been successfully developed, it is time to look for the right hardware platform. This was also the case for a customer of Paso Solutions from Hohenzell in Upper Austria. The question arose: off-the-shelf hardware or a customized solution?
IoT specialist from upper austria
Pataky Software GmbH (PASO for short) from Hohenzell was founded in 2007 by Herbert Pataky and today employs 20 people. Its range of services includes business analytics, data warehousing and artificial intelligence. But also individual software solutions, mobile apps, web applications, embedded systems, solutions for the cloud and the Internet of Things are part of the service portfolio. Many renowned companies such as Magna, Daimler or Scheuch rely on the know-how of the Upper Austrian software specialist.
Ready for IoT
IoT project "Connected Charger"
During the search for a hardware service provider for the IoT project "Connected Charger" of a customer, a PASO employee came into contact with Ginzinger electronic systems from Weng im Innkreis.
After the initial contact, the cooperation between PASO Solutions and Ginzinger electronic systems was sealed. PASO decided to use the modular, scalable hardware platform of Ginzinger electronic systems including its own Linux software distribution.
PASO was to connect existing charging stations for lead batteries installed in forklifts with the Internet of Things (IoT) for its customer. A CAN gateway was jointly developed for this purpose. This collects the charging data from the forklifts, processes it and sends it to the cloud via Ethernet or WLAN.
The evidence for 1+1= 3
PASO developed the application software for the gateway's IoT capability as well as the software structure required for it. At the same time, its customer Ginzinger electronic systems commissioned the development of the hardware system platform, driver adaptations and operating system.
"For us it was important to be able to manage a quick and simple 'Plug & Play' for our customer. After first testing various readily available hardware solutions, we finally decided on the customized system solution, in which hardware and software come from Ginzinger electronic systems. This solution has already been proven on the market for many years and is robust and secure. All of these are important factors when it comes to secure secure connection to the cloud".
GELin from Ginzinger
Robust embedded Linux platform
The platform is based on an embedded Linux system with Cortex-A7 processor, TPM (trusted platform module), CAN bus, Ethernet and WiFi. The Ginzinger platform offers many more possible interfaces, such as for TFT, USB or video. The customized platform is equipped with exactly those hardware and software components that are needed for the application. No more and no less.
For the evaluation of the required interfaces, joint workshops were held, where first impressions could be gathered with the "Ginzinger Embedded Linux Development Kits". Parallel to the workshops, PASO and the customer already had these "Dev Kits" for initial tests directly in the field. For the integration of the IoT device into the cloud, there were several joint analysis steps on the topic of security in advance.
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"The i.MX6 UL DevKits used are evaluation platforms based on ARM Cortex-A7 processors. They are particularly well suited for cost-efficient embedded Linux solutions such as simple GUIs or IoT applications. With the Dev-Kits, customers can test and evaluate their application software in the early stages, even if the device hardware is not yet available."
The porting of PASO's IoT software application to the Ginzinger hardware platform went off without any notable complications, even though Ginzinger relies on Linux as the operating system in its embedded systems, while Paso used Microsoft's .NET Core for the "Connected Charger" project. This was made possible by the Ginzinger Linux software distribution and development environment "GELin", which has been tried and tested for over ten years.
The GELin operating system turns out to be a well thought-out but straightforward solution. Since we relied on .NET Core as the development framework in the current project, the straightforward integration of .NET Core into GELin meant that we quickly found our way around in this world and were able to implement it without any problems."
PASO Solutions & Ginzinger
Since the "CAN Gateway" product is a connected device (connection to the Internet and the cloud), a strong focus was placed on security right from the start of the project. Together with partners from Ginzinger electronic systems, a comprehensive security concept and a maintenance strategy were developed. Here, too, GELin enables a stable and secure platform for many years with secure update solutions and long-term support. The serial production of the CAN gateway is already in the starting blocks at Ginzinger electronic systems. After the first pilot series, which has already been produced, the market launch of the product is imminent. Planned are several 1.000 pcs. Gateways per year. The joint project has resulted in a close cooperation between PASO Solutions and Ginzinger electronic systems.
"We rely on Ginzinger as an Austrian high-tech company with international references that gives customers a real competitive advantage with a modular state-of-the-art solution to optimize their business models with digitization and open up new horizons."
Many years of know-how
A stable and industrial grade product
The combination of PASO's profound software know-how and Ginzinger electronic systems' robust embedded hardware platform, which has been proven over many years, represented the optimal solution for PASO and its customer to obtain a stable and industrially suitable product that could be realized quickly. The two companies are also in constant contact for further hardware projects and can thus complement each other optimally.
Terms & Definitions
Business analytics refers to the capabilities, technologies, and practices for continuously iterating and examining past business performance to gain insights and drive business planning.
For example, a data warehouse is used to capture, assimilate, and derive data from any source, across all business units.
The Trusted Platform Module is a chip according to the TCG specification that adds basic security functions to a computer or similar device. These functions can be used, for example, for license and data protection or intelligence control.
GUI is the interface between the computer and the user. A GUI, short for Graphical User Interface, is a computer program that allows a person to communicate with a computer using icons, visual metaphors, and pointing devices.
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