Middleware for industrial engineering and automation


1. Competition and Cost Pressure

Modern machines and manufacturing sites are growing in complexity. The pressure of the competition (especially from Asia) is growing constantly. The market is demanding ever more modern, capable and efficient machines with contemporary man machine interfaces – and all that at low cost of course! Machine builders are feeling the strain. We can help you withstand the pressure!

2. Technological Upheavals

Especially in the days of “Industry 4.0”, a seemingly unbridgeable chasm between classic PLC programming and modern IT methods is beginning to show. Proponents of either method often shy away from the idea of “switching sides”. The reasons listed for this hesitation are manifold: high development expenditures, impossible to gauge followup costs, loss of PLC or high-level language know-how that has been accumulated over many years, etc. But in the long run there will be no way around merging both concepts, since modern machines are subject to demands that can not be fulfilled otherwise. For example, they are expected to be able to autonomously network and interlink, or offer services to communicate with either local or internet based cloud data. Further topics like quality improvement through test and simulation, remote maintenance and fast startup operations are gaining more and more importance.

Based on our middleware platform Gamma VI, these requirements and demands can be met with ease and at low cost.

3. New Tools, New Methods

Die Gamma VI platform by Proway offers a wide range of existing tools for high-level languages and PLC programming, model based development, visualization, test and simulation. The available hardware choices are broadened by the platform’s abstraction abilities. This not only makes repairs and upgrades on aging facilities easier, but also dissolves dependencies on specific hardware suppliers, which can lead to immense cost reductions. Especially the wide availability of small, cost efficient embedded modules for all purposes (from miniaturized single board computers to highly specialized I/O components like emBRICK) makes this flexibility highly desirable from a cost standpoint.

Plug-ins are available that connect Gamma VI to nearly all currently established field buses and industry protocols. With our interfaces for OPC-UA, MQTT and DDS we also offer easy interconnection with modern production networks.

Visualization solutions facilitate the development of modern human machine interfaces. Gamma’s comprehensive simulation functionality means starting software development can start even before the mechanics are finalized by programming by reference to a virtual model of the machine or manipulating real world signals. This allows automating tests and testing extreme edge cases that aren’t possible with or would severely damage the actual machine. This innovative method also pays off in regards to certification, startup procedures and maintenance.

Use case: Gamma VI in mechanical Engineering


Gamma VI gives the machine builder access to embedded hardware, which leads to significant cost reductions, especially for large production quantities.

For example, with modular Open Source I/O concepts, prototypes for controllers can be easily assembled from prefabricated modules. These are then redesigned for subsequent series production in such a way that production is simplified. The cabling of the machine can be carried out via cable harnesses, as in vehicle construction. Due to the cost reduction, the changeover is amortized in very short time.

The wide range of Gamma VI options provides customers’ development departments with a platform that is precisely tailored to the existing core technologies. This enables us to pick up the developers exactly at their abilities and try to establish an optimal development process.

Gamma VI also supports the machine builder when upgrading existing machines for digitization: Due to the high effort and the possible loss of warranty, existing machine controls are not replaced but integrated into the new data level using the existing interfaces.

With its open interfaces, Gamma VI is ready for future technologies and developments, regardless of the new standards that prevail in the long term.

Use case: Gamma VI in production control


Use case: Gamma VI in production controlThe integration of different machine controls with their different communication concepts is a challenging task. The central challenge is to abstract heterogeneous production in such a way that a homogeneous software layer (digital twin) is created. This is a decisive requirement for the further digitalization of production. The Gamma VI middleware is perfectly suited for this and already manages the most important tasks:

  • Numerous I/O functions and fieldbuses (currently more than 70) are available
  • All necessary communication strategies for the appropriate preparation of the data and the development of specific services such as predictive maintenance or big data applications
  • Interfaces to standardized communication protocols for the data level (currently MQTT, DDS and OPC UA)

The factory of the future: Autarkic controls link together intelligently. The 4DIAC PLC tool makes it possible to implement distributed IEC61499-compliant control software that is merged via the gamma middleware. Proven connections to the electromechanical level remain, modern network protocols lead to the production level. Gamma thus enables distributed PLC development in the networked factory. All machine data is available via the middleware for AI functions, visualizations and databases on modern IT systems.

Simulation models and modern test strategies also enable offline development and reduce interruptions in production to a minimum.