Continuity with innovation

The Canadian company SolidTechnics from Montreal is one of the world's largest manufacturers of automation devices for test and industrial applications with more than 4,000 employees and a history dating back over half a century.1 The company faced a problem as the contract with the manufacturer of their LON products expired. SolidTechnics decided for a reorientation, since Gesytec delivered a modern solution for one third of the price. That's why Gesytec PC/104 solution is chosen.

Gesytec stands out because the quality of its products

A quick Google search led SolidTechnics straight to the Gesytec GmbH in Aachen in western of Germany. As a leading provider of PC/104 LON systems, Gesytec was predestined for this task. But what attracted SolidTechnics attention was the connection of the PC / 104 interface for Linux. Despite great geographical distance, contact was immediately established. A series of digital meetings followed to set the framework conditions. A personal meeting took place in the end as a formality.

PC/104 Board
PC/104 Solution for SolidTechnics

Gesytec for new and improved approaches

Gesytec has developed three solution approaches: one consisting of standard modules, another is that of a specially-cut design with a 32 bit microcontroller and a third one with a Linux-enabled CPU module and LON electronics on exactly one PC / 104 format board.

Solve problems through innovation

One hurdle was that SolidTechnics worked with VxWorks, which is used for example in aerospace technology and not more ideally suited for the needs of the company. A more adequate solution had to be found: Gesytec PC/104 solution is chosen as VxWorks should be replaced by Linux as well as price and availability for the third offered solution were optimal for SolidTechnics optimized PC/104 format module. An ARM9 CPU with 400 MHz and 128 Mbyte RAM is used; Linux is booted from a microSD card. The LON-RS485 interface is realized with a neuron chip. Gesytec took over the porting of VxWorks to Linux in a way that the source code can be used for both, VxWorks and Linux. SolidTechnics is still working with VxWorks, but thanks to Gesytec and Linux, this combined work is realized without any problems. The interface should act the same as before. Also, Gesytec found a flexible and individual solution that met with great enthusiasm among the new customers of SolidTechnics: the missing FTP and Telnet components in the standard version of Linux were quickly re-integrated by Gesytec.

Trustworthiness of Gesytec

Already at the beginning of the first talks SolidTechnics asked for a long term contract. It was important that Gesytec has a completely own LON technology and does not rely on Echelon products. Overall, SolidTechnics wanted a contract with a seven-year availability guarantee on the basis of a minimal, but not limited reduction in the quantity. SolidTechnics eventually chose a higher quantity than initially forecasted amount. Gesytec offers stable prices for the entire contract term, including the risk of procurement of all components.

VxWorks was no longer the right solution
SolidTechnics was interested in connecting PC / 104 to Linux

Trustworthiness of Gesytec

Already at the beginning of the first talks SolidTechnics asked for a long term contract. It was important that Gesytec has a completely own LON technology and does not rely on Echelon products. Overall, SolidTechnics wanted a contract with a seven-year availability guarantee on the basis of a minimal, but not limited reduction in the quantity. SolidTechnics eventually chose a higher quantity than initially forecasted amount. Gesytec offers stable prices for the entire contract term, including the risk of procurement of all components.

Adherence to delivery dates as an important factor of cooperation

Then began a series of regular telephone meetings. There was fast communication on both sides, because, despite the different time zones, none of the contract parties needed more than one day for a response. SolidTechnics sent its test equipment across the globe up to Aachen to Gesytec. The development as well as the production process were carried out according to the customer. The logistics and packaging have been customized to meet individual needs. Ultimately, the project was completed at the agreed price, on agreed terms and in time, and SolidTechnics and Gesytec look forward to the next years of cooperation.

 

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1 Names and places have been changed for privacy purposes.