As of July 1, 2018, SCS has launched a new Department for Blockchain and Internet-Of-Things. Alain Brenzikofer heads the newly formed group as the new Department Head. We congratulate Alain Brenzikofer on the new role and wish him every success.

Distributed Ledger Technologies, Blockchain, Cryptocurrencies, IoT: The terms are ubiquitous and will disrupt various industries. Alain Brenzikofer has been observing these technologies for years and is a profound expert on the scene. Interesting applications arise today in the energy sector, but also in the commodity trade, with guarantees of origin. Some of these are already under development at SCS: As Partner in the “Quartierstrom” project in Walenstadt, where a blockchain-based peer-to-peer energy market is being created.

The World Health Organization (WHO) assumes that over 25% of the medicine sold in developing countries and about 50% of medicine ordered online are fake. According to WHO’s estimations, the death toll in Africa alone amounts to 100’000 per year due to fake medicine. As a reaction to these figures, numerous governments worldwide are releasing more restricting regulations for pharmaceutical products (packaging, seals, verification etc.) and are obliging the industry to ensure the traceability of corresponding products.

The packaging plant manufacturer Gerhard Schubert GmbH considers it normal that his facilities ensure the total traceability of each product in every packaged unity and every packaging level (i.e. clusters, boxes and pallets) and thus meet the regulatory requirements of customers, as well as national and international requirements.

It is crucial that the track and trace functionality, as well as the implementation of ERP functions does not negatively impact the output and performance of the production facility. Moreover, it must feature the flexibility to be adapted by the customer when requirements change and must show a complete audit-trail.

Thanks to the modular architecture implemented by SCS, the various regulatory requirements concerning labelling and verification can be configured and expanded by the customer independently. Also, ERP systems of various manufacturers can easily be implemented. The integrated audit-trail ensures the required tracking of all relevant changes made to the system.

Applied Technologies: Microsoft .NET/C#, SQL-Server, WCF

The German company GLP Systems Ltd., based in Hamburg, is an innovative specialist in the area of information and automation systems for clinical laboratories. GLP Systems has revolutionized the sample transfer using a new approach: Similar to a Carrera race track, the sample vessels are individually moved through the laboratories and cold-storage rooms in intelligent CARs along lanes. Worldwide, lots of those systems are already being used, also in the Center of Laboratory Medicine at the Insel Hospital in Bern.

Figure 1: The pool of empty CARs allows for an efficient and automatic filling on the right lane. In the Tube Assessment Center (TAC), at the right rear of the picture, the samples are classified reliably by the SCS computer vision system and start their individual route through the laboratory.
Source: Center of Laboratory Medicine – Insel Hospital, Bern

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Incorrect analysis results are being avoided thanks to the SCS computer vision solution: The samples are being classified in purely visual terms using their shape and color only. Practically, the world wide range of vessel types is a challenge, since their characteristics oftentimes only differ slightly. Using a statistical evaluation; those samples can be reliably identified despite their variations in production batches. Since the system automatically withdraws samples with unsure classifications, confusions are hence avoided. In those rare cases, employees check on the samples manually and guarantee for the mandatory safety.

SCS Service Tool
Figure 2: The SCS Service Tool allows a detailed status analysis. Thanks to rapid prototyping using MATLAB, the agile development took place quickly in a cost efficient manner and was soon ready for use.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A service technician can quickly detect causes of uncertainties thanks to the SCS Service Tool: It analyzes and visualizes diagnostic images along with other data of the TAC. If required, a new series of images can be acquired and thus, the data pool used for the machine learning can be continually expanded. Applying this method, new types of vessels can easily be learned by the system. Moreover, new variations of known vessels can be understood better, therefore the recognition rate is steadily optimized.

Picture 3: Thanks to swarm intelligence, the CARs drive autonomously through a variety of modules (TAC, centrifuges, cap removers, analysis devices etc.) This allows for an individual and cost efficient analysis of the blood samples according to the Industry 4.0 idea.  Source: Center of Laboratory Medicine – Insel Hospital, Bern

By 2014, The tpg and SCS started a collaboration for the upgrade of the 500 ticket machines, with the aim to develop a new sales software and to renew certain components of the sales systems.

Just six months after the start of the project, the first prototype started dispensing tickets at Geneva’s Cornavin Train Station. Four months later, in December 2014, the rollout was completed by 100 machines.

The modifications have enabled the tpg to halve both the time of the sales transaction and of maintenance operations. The availability of vending machines has improved massively and is now over 99%.

During the next stage of collaboration, the solar ticket machines will be reengineered.

Press Release TPG
Press Release TPG (PDF)

Industry 4.0, Internet of Things, Cloud – all these terms are currently being discussed all over. However, most of the time, a common understanding is missing about the meaning of these terms and the way they are to be implemented in the industry. Also, the benefit for the customer is not always clear.

During a recent round table of the forum “Laufenburger Talks”, Dr. Johannes Gassner was invited as an expert to talk about this topic.

The article „Swiss KMU is ready – but the benefit is still unclear” was subsequently written about this roundtable and was published twice:

  • Article in the “Technische Rundschau”, the Swiss industry magazine
  • Article in the “Polyscope”, the magazine for electronics and automation

The “Internet of Things”, abbreviated IoT, has the intention to equip many electrical appliances with the ability to communicate with each other via the internet. Industry 4.0 stands for the pooling of technology trends and a vision of the way the manufacturing business may look in the future.

The „Laufenburger Talks“ offer a platform to discuss interesting, controversial and current topics among experts.

Contact person at SCS
Johannes Gassner

Compared to regular radiation therapy with X-rays, the proton therapy allows an even more precise localisation of the dose and therefore a high therapeutical efficiency with fewer side effects. Thus, it is highly significant when treating tumors that are located closely to important organs, for instance in the area of the head.

In November 2013, the „Gantry 2“ has started its clinical patient treatment. The applied high speed, intensity-modulated 3D-scanning method is globally unique. We congratulate the PSI Institute on this big success!

The beam control and the continuous monitoring of the beam parameters function with a system cycle of 10 us and ensure the highly precise and safe radiation. We are very pleased, that this innovative system – to which SCS contributed core parts in a common project– is now clinically operative in order to bring forth healing to the patients.

 

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Construction of Gantry 2 at PSI at an early stag.

 

Web-Links:

http://p-therapie.web.psi.ch/gantry2.html

https://erice2011.na.infn.it/TalkContributions/Meer.pdf

 

The Gerhard Schubert GmbH Company manufactures flexible packing machines. The application of  Schubert’s plant control allows to record a vast quantity of data, including the OEE (Overall Equipment Effectiveness), an indicator for the quality of a production line.
In order to improve the overall efficiency of the plant, Schubert wanted to offer an analyzing system to its customers and commissioned SCS to implement a so called plant-cockpit.

By developing the plant-cockpit, SCS has precisely developed a solution corresponding to the needs and requirements of the customer.The result is a contemporary application, both technically and in terms of the user experience. Thanks to the longstanding and broad experience in developing wide spread and complex applications in the Microsoft .net environment, the team was able to stick to the ambitious timetable.

The plant-cockpit loads, filters and visualizes the OEE (Overall Equipment Effectiveness) and other indicators from various plant controls located around the globe. The user friendly guidance of the software allows to identify the cause of a loss of efficiency with a few mouse clicks. This makes it possible to find the root cause of errors and corresponding losses of efficiency faster and applying appropriate counter measures in order to improve the OEE.

The most important qualities:

  • Loading of data from many, globally located plant controls
  • Flexible filtering
  • Efficient navigation, from the overview to the root cause of a problem within few mouse clicks
  • Access to recent as well as archived data
  • Pre-configured and individually combinable views
  • Quick overview of the execution of the last jobs

Employed Technologies:

  • Microsoft .NET 4.0 , WPF, WCF (used for asynchronous requests; among other uses)
  • Telerik WPF Controls
  • Visual Studio 2012

Website of the manufacturer: Schubert Anlagencockpit

The ticketing system for ticket vending machines for Zugerland Verkehrsbetriebe AG (ZVB) has been approved and is being rolled out. The development lasted from the specification in early 2010 until the field test phase in the first quarter of 2012. Hardware control and a retailing GUI were developed during this time in close cooperation with the client, ZVB. An interface module assumes the control of the special devices and interfaces. The module was especially developed for this project by SCS.