Workspace Navigation

Wireless and Distributed Automation System with Smart Update

Basic information

Project ID: AEE-2016-35

Students: Laura Gröhn, Samuli Metsälä, Magnus Nyholm, Lauri Saikko, Eero Väänänen

Project manager: Laura Gröhn

Instructor: Valeriy Vyatkin

Other advisors: Kashif Gulzar

Starting date: 11.1.2016

Completion date: 19.12.2016

Overview and Objectives

Team presenting the improved Automation Demonstrator at SPS IPC Drives 2016 in Nuremberg

This project was about implementing and analyzing a system consisting of intelligent mechatronic devices controlled with distributed wireless automation. While making the system more flexible and easier to reconfigure, we wanted to develop a concept for the smart software update. Validating the concept required improving existing software by iteratively prototyping our approach on the automation demonstrator. We were able to demonstrate step by step how to manage updating the control software on the fly without any further hassle. In the course of the project we studied the effects of wireless communication on system performance compared to the more traditional wired solution. Hereby, we evaluated the applicability of standard Wi­Fi technology to industrial automation. We enhanced performance and reliability of the wireless system by mapping out factors causing differing results of systems with wired versus wireless connectivity.

The main goal of the project was to investigate and compare the use of wireless, intelligent mechatronic devices to the traditional automation approach implemented with wired components. In the project we created a distributed automation system using FESTO EnAS platform as our testbed. In order to gather performance data for each of these, we planned a number of preparative tasks that needed to be accomplished.

Based on the performance data gathered for different setups as well as experiences had while implementing the development phases we were able to analyze the strengths and weaknesses of different approaches. The framework of the study places modern automation needs such as flexibility and reconfigurability as some key metrics of interest due to recent development in the industry towards mass customization and modularity in the production.

The reasoning behind the project is simple. We wanted to provide some tangible output for researching wireless and distributed automation. The project provides a set of feasible and cost­effective concepts for system integrators and consulting companies providing automation solutions to build on. Our approach benefits mainly companies providing the customer with consulting on developing, building and automating new production lines, as well as providing maintenance services. The project work materializes in an automation demonstrator system which is a prototype used to demonstrate our approach. Our expertise is knowing how distributed automation solutions can achieve tangible business improvements for our customers in terms of flexibility, reconfigurability, ease of maintenance and reduced downtime.



You can download a photocollection here.


All documentation can be found on our web page In case the domain is not working anymore or has been redirected to this site, a documentation file can be found below in the documents section in pdf format.

Sources for both the PLC configuration as well as for the simulation model can be found in attachments.

The final report of the project and the poster for final gala can be found below in documents section.


Summary of results

All the planned control logic were successfully implemented and the simulation model created. The demonstration was successful and we managed to showcase also the concept of smart updates while presenting the results at SPS IPC Drives 2016 in Nuremberg. A comparison between the wired and the wireless solution showed that in a factory­like environment there was no visible difference in performance while not taking into account connectivity problems in spaces with a lot of external wireless traffic. However, the solution is not perfect yet and it remains to be seen how the distributed and wireless solutions will be developed further in the future and wheter they really will grow in number as dramatically as expected.


Arcticle to Automaatioväylä


Final report



Source for nxtStudio

Source for Simulation

Videoguide to start OPC simulation







  • No labels
  File Modified
PDF File AEE_2016_35_FinalReport.pdf Mar 07, 2017 by Eero Väänänen
PDF File AEE_2016_35_Poster.pdf Mar 07, 2017 by Eero Väänänen
PDF File Article_Automaatioväylä.pdf Mar 07, 2017 by Eero Väänänen
PDF File Businessplan.pdf Mar 07, 2017 by Eero Väänänen
PDF File Documentation.pdf Mar 07, 2017 by Eero Väänänen
JPEG File DSC_0111.jpg Mar 07, 2017 by Eero Väänänen
ZIP Archive Mar 07, 2017 by Eero Väänänen
PDF File Projectplan.pdf Mar 07, 2017 by Eero Väänänen
ZIP Archive Mar 07, 2017 by Eero Väänänen
ZIP Archive Mar 07, 2017 by Eero Väänänen
Multimedia File video_demonstrator.mp4 Mar 07, 2017 by Eero Väänänen
Multimedia File video_exhibition.mp4 Mar 07, 2017 by Eero Väänänen
Multimedia File video_simulation.mp4 Mar 07, 2017 by Eero Väänänen
Multimedia File videoguide_start_OPC_simulation.mp4 Mar 07, 2017 by Eero Väänänen