Software from Balluff

With digital solutions to the smart factory

We extend or merge your existing systems with custom-tailored digitalization & IIoT solutions. In developing these solutions we keep a close eye on your existing automation and IT environment.

Our goal is to generate measurable added value for you in your specific production environment. How do you benefit from this? We do not penetrate into the world of your existing systems (MES, ERP, QA systems), but rather connect them and the data generated there. The information gained from these related data leads to new insights into your production processes. This would not be possible with singular data alone.

Let yourself be inspired by innovative solutions, which we present to you by means of selected use cases.

Use Cases

  • Monitoring machine conditions

    Your goal

    You would like to have a complete record of all production-relevant data to monitor machine conditions in order to increase your productivity.

    Your challenge

    • You already have several different systems in use that collect this data.
    • So far you have not found a way to merge the systems efficiently.

    Our solution

    In order to provide you with comprehensive condition monitoring, we link your systems with each other with our technical knowledge and your domain know-how, support you in identifying the correct data and adding missing data.

    Only with such customized and application-specific solutions can your production processes be significantly optimized. These solutions contribute to complete transparency across the production processes and help you to increase overall plant effectiveness. In addition, they can provide you with the basis for new business models.
    We use the following service blocks to technically implement machine condition monitoring:

    • Back-end integration
    • Hardware design and integration
    • Data management

  • Automated production control and optimized resource planning in intralogistics

    Your goal

    You want to continuously monitor your production processes in order to be able to react flexibly to bottlenecks and delays. In addition, you want to make optimal use of resources through accurate forecasting, with the result that your machines are used to their full capacity and you always have the ideal amount of raw material and sufficient operating resources available.

    Your challenge

    • Your virtual system and the real situation on the store floor are not linked.
    • Information about the current position and availability of your equipment is missing.
    • You register a growing shortage of skilled workers.

    Our solution

    We merge your systems and help you to provide the collected data at the right place. This way you can reduce the effort involved in production planning through automatic availability messages from the system. And the planning is switched from the push principle (controlled by humans) to the pull principle (controlled by the plant). By changing over to self-controlled production, you counteract the growing shortage of skilled workers. You know where and in what condition the production resources are and can make them available in the quantity required. In this way you save space, time and resources, and you are on your way to a smart factory. To technically implement automated production control and optimized resource planning in intralogistics, we use the following service blocks:

    • Back-end Integration
    • HMI design and development
    • Embedded development
    • Hardware design and integration

  • Customized tool management

    Your goal

    You want to ensure the complete documentation and traceability of your production tools. And furthermore, you want to be able to trace when, how much and under which conditions your tool was manufactured. In addition, you want to know when the last service call was and whether it was carried out properly.

    Your challenge

    • You need the data directly on the tool, but you do not want any additional hardware to read or save the data at undefined reading points on the tool.
    • Your service cannot always access the network.

    Our solution

    With the help of a smartphone app, tool management is simplified and service is optimized. The software solution interacts with Balluff's RFID hardware, which is attached to the user's tool. This creates an interface between machine, tool and operator and optimizes service for your end customer. The app makes it possible to view and evaluate tool life cycle data not only in the machine, but also conveniently at any other location in production, without additional hardware. A readable RFID type plate attached to the tool stores the specific characteristic data and supports the setting of the required tool parameters on the machine during tool change.
    We use the following service blocks to technically implement tool management:

    • Cyber security
    • HMI design and development
    • Embedded development
    • Smart devices
    • Hardware design and integration

  • Recipe and format change

    Your goal

    You would like to increase the transparency of your production processes to meet legal and/or customer requirements. To do this, you need a better overview of which plants are currently in operation, which recipes are currently used in production, or where a recipe change has been made. You also want to ensure that the formats are always set correctly at the start of production.

    Your challenge

    • You have to cope with significant maintenance work and many interfaces to different systems.
    • You require simple user guidance and application to achieve acceptance among employees so that the processes are followed.

    Our solution

    Format adjustment is nothing new for the world of automation. Balluff provides you with the right hardware for this with sensors and RFID technology. The real challenge begins with efficient feedback to operator and machine as well as optimal and modern user guidance. We offer you a functional, lean and openly designed back-end that enables easy management of recipe, machine and user data as well as connection to other systems. On this basis we build up and develop with you the appropriate user guidance for you and your employees. Together with you and your process know-how, we ensure that all recipe processes are carried out and documented properly and that this information is then available in all your systems.
    We use the following service blocks to technically implement recipe and format changes:

    • Cyber security
    • Back-end integration
    • HMI design and development
    • Hardware design and integration
    • DevOps and IT infrastructure management

  • Monitoring stock levels

    Your goal

    You want to optimize your production and relieve your purchasing department. To do this, you need a continuous inventory control of your warehouse to automatically monitor its inventory.

    Your challenge

    • Frequent replacement times and many costs reduce profitability.
    • Large parking and storage areas for materials such as packaging and C-parts cause high storage costs.
    • Complex ordering processes and high personnel and process costs reduce efficiency.
    • Delivery bottlenecks and uncertain material availability weigh on production and affect delivery.

    Our solution

    With the Material Level Monitoring System from Balluff, which consists of suitable sensors, network technology and intuitive software, you can optimize your inventory. Our material level sensors automatically monitor stocks; the respective consumption data can be retrieved in a database at any time. The overall throughput times can also be reduced considerably with the material level monitoring system, as you are automatically notified when the level falls below set limits.
    The system is configured intuitively via a web browser. Optionally, the system can also be directly connected to the ERP system. If the stock level falls below the minimum, an order is automatically triggered and sent to the supplier. All that is required for this intelligent inventory management is a combination of Balluff standard hardware and software. If you have additional requirements, we can of course customize and extend the standard software to meet your individual needs.
    In order to technically implement the automated monitoring of your inventory, we use the following service blocks, depending on the degree of individualization:

    • Back-end integration
    • HMI design and development
    • Hardware design and integration
    • Data management
    • DevOps and IT infrastructure management

A total package: from evaluation, to the concept, to implementation

Digitalization and the IIoT have meant rapid diversification of technology and increased pressure to integrate. This places ever new demands on automation and poses new security questions, among other things. To make sure you can take advantage of the opportunities presented by new technologies, we support you with our custom-tailored IIoT solutions. And we do this entirely according to your specifications.

Taking your requirements as the starting point, we develop individual 360° IIoT solutions for which we evaluate the current situation, take your OT and IT infrastructure into account and apply the right strategy, methodology and technology. For example we can modify your devices for the best possible functionality. Along with implementation, such as integration into the control station, we deliver individual support over the entire life cycle for this total package. We ensure practicality of our solutions through use cases in IIoT scenarios.

Economy and quality are priorities for us. And we think about data security from the very outset. Seamlessly linking OT and IT is a matter of course for our experts. It's understood that they make use of various competencies from IT and OT, research and development, process and project management as well as the sales area.

individual 360° IIoT solutions from Balluff

Our service blocks

  • (1) Industrial and Cyber Security

    We find the right strategy

    The IIoT, digitalization, and increasing networking come with new risk scenarios that require an appropriate response. With our years of experience and our comprehensive know-how, we help you find the right defense strategy.

    Security Engineering

    In any IIoT project, security is a major consideration which our planning takes into consideration in the very first planning step. We draft threat models and design a holistic defense. This ensures the highest degree of security.

    Security Assessment

    Complex OT or IT infrastructures are subject to increasing threats, and the overall system is only as strong as its weakest link. We are able to penetrate this complexity and identify weak points. We consider every single level: Infrastructure, architecture, design, hardware and software, and individually developed applications and systems.

    Security Consulting

    The variety of different technologies, trends and products is growing enormously and placing far-ranging demands on security. We stand by you and guide you through all the safety-relevant topics and help you, for example, achieve ISO-27001 certification.

  • (2) Backend Integration

    Tailored to your specific needs

    The rapidly increasing quantities of data generated by the IIoT require a stable foundation upon which to implement a value-creating information flow. We develop and integrate custom-tailored backends for you, based on proven and emerging technologies such as web and cloud services (e.g. Spring/Spring Boot), JVM-based languages or Net Core.
    Since we have a large technology mix at our command and development paradigms like polyglot architectures and microservices, we can always offer you precisely tailored solutions.

  • (3) HMI Design and Development

    Visualization creates transparency

    Whatever processes need to be visualized in your automation, we make sure it's done the right way. For example, we can create a dashboard to visualize your production line and make processes and conditions transparent.
    Pressure changes represented on a dashboard provide detailed information about the machine status and are useful for a condition and discrepancy analysis. If, for example, changes in the current draw are visualized, you can draw conclusions about the system status at a glance.

    For us, visualization also means adapting your Corporate Design to the digital world. Usability determines how it is implemented.

  • (4) Embedded Development

    For virtually any device

    With our software we can optimize the hardware you use to your specific requirements. This applies both to Balluff devices and to third-party hardware. Our modifications allow, for example, data to be read and written on a RFID data carrier via NFC.
    Whatever you use, we enable communication between your devices and higher level systems, including up to the cloud.

  • (5) Smart Devices and Enterprise Web

    For a wide range of software platforms

    Whether Android, iOS, Windows or Linux-based operating systems, for whatever software platform you use, we develop apps for many different mobile devices, including tablets, smartphones, handhelds and wearables. Also for the system preferred in your plant.
    You also receive platform-neutral hybrid apps that work on the greatest number of different devices. Then processes, data and analyses can be made available on every device at any location in the world.

    For the Enterprise Web we develop dashboards on which you can visualize your applications. Your smartphones and computers then draw on this same platform. This simplifies handling and increases efficiency.

  • (6) Hardware Design and Integration

    Build upon years of expertise

    As automation specialists and long-time partners of many different industries, Balluff offers well-founded know-how and reliable experience along with a vast product range.
    This expertise enables us to offer you optimal hardware solutions and integrate them into your applications.

    We develop a custom, sustainable hardware model for you, perform feasibility testing, and integrate the hardware into your automation. Take advantage of this expertise.

  • (7) Data Management

    The basis for high transparency and reliable forecasting

    Collecting, processing and analyzing data is the basis for predictive maintenance. Valuable information can be drawn from this data which you can productively use in your automation. Trends can be ascertained and their causes determined. You detect weaknesses in the process early and can respond to them directly.
    Transparency through targeted data management opens up whole new spheres of action, for example in preventing unplanned system stoppages.

  • (8) DevOps and IT Infrastructure Management

    We bring different worlds together

    The Industrial Internet of Things links areas such as information and operative technology, which used to be separate, because complex machinery with networked sensors and software requires the interplay of OT and IT.
    Our DevOps team supports the interlinking of both worlds. We design the right infrastructures for devices and systems to function smoothly. The complete environment flows are in our development. You too can optimize your entire process.

    With our IT infrastructure management you also benefit from well thought out cloud engineering which is tailored to your processes. Whatever IT systems you use, we ensure optimal data transfer to the cloud and support you in data management.