Remote Management of Kelvin TTX
The Kelvin TTX had to work more effectively without engineers being on site. Impossible? Not for us! Thanks to software updates and developments and the cloud the Kelvin TTX did what our client wanted.
Electron, being a major player and technology leader with more than 25 years’ experience in providing turnkey heat treatment and diffusion coating solutions, approached Synadia in regards to several challenges related to remote management which had arisen after the successful trial of the Kelvin TTX machines which were produced earlier this year as a joined effort with Synadia.
It was a pleasure for Synadia to further help Electron with a new set of fresh challenges to be solved.
Synadia made it possible to connect on-demand to specific remote kelvin machines for management purposes. The main trick here was to remotely ask Kelvin TTX to establish a secure channel with the cloud, configure certain components of Kelvin TTX to act as a network gateway and enable TCP communication between the engineer’s laptop and all the hardware components of Kelvin TTX.
All of this was done in just two weeks and brought the following benefits:
ABOUT KELVIN TTX
Electron, a Dutch Corporation, was founded in 1988. Today, as a member of the Glaesum Group, it maintains a large manufacturing facility and corporate offices in Nijkerk, The Netherlands.
Electron is a major player and technology leader, with more than 25 years’ experience in providing turnkey heat treatment and diffusion coating solutions. Meeting its customers’ needs – from product design to manufacturing, and from follow-up service to maintenance – is what sets Electron apart from other furnace system manufacturers.
Electron is dedicated specifically to the thermal processing industry. Their key personnel have been individually selected for their knowledge and skill in the thermal processing industry.
Superior design features, quality aftermarket service, and a growing list of satisfied customers makes Electron the best qualified company to supply furnace equipment to thermal processing needs.
In the past we made the Kelvin TTX custom-made and smart! Please refer to the Kelvin TTX case study. Having used a number of these machines several optimization possibilities have been recognized and listed as challenges below.
A majority of Kelvin TTX machines are placed behind Network Address Translation and, as a result, are not directly accessible from the Internet for management purposes. Asking local IT to set up IP port forwarding is not an option.
It is an operational burden to maintain the internal hardware of Kelvin TTX. Maintenance requires physical site visits where engineers need to perform hardware firmware upgrades and software updates.
Kelvin TTX is a complex machine which has multiple hardware devices to be managed, these devices are connected to a small local network in order to communicate internally. Due to the standard assembly process, each device has exactly the same set of settings (including internal network IP range) that is why having a network of all directly and constantly connected Kelvin TTX machines via secure tunnel simply is not possible.
AWS had all necessary building blocks for this project, Synadia only had to utilize them, the need to search for an alternative in another place was simply out of the question.
The AWS cloud was ideal for this challenge since it has offered nearly out of the box an easy way to securely register and remotely manage, organize, monitor and troubleshoot and query the state of any Kelvin TTX machine.
Additionally, inexpensive compute and storage, ability to back up resources easily, native support for infrastructure as Code confirmed once again that AWS has everything that is needed for almost any challenge.
Using Amazon Web Services (AWS) allowed Synadia to build the solution with the increased speed, reliability and better performance and at the same time with very low costs in comparison to other remote management services currently available on the market.
“We chose Amazon Web Services because it enabled us to achieve what we wanted in a very short time frame of only two weeks with no risk to reliability, resiliency and security.”
Arie van Wijngaarden | CTO Kelvin TMS BV
WHY APN PARTNER
Electron and Synadia partnered before, please refer to the Kelvin TTX case study which will reveal all necessary details which depict the history of our previous relationship and cooperation. It was a mere pleasure for Synadia to further help when Electron addressed Synadaia with a new set of fresh challenges to be solved.
Synadia made it possible to connect on-demand to specific remote kelvin machine for management purposes. The main trick here was to remotely ask Kelvin TTX to establish a secure channel with the cloud, configure certain components of Kelvin TTX to act as a network gateway and enable TCP communication between managing station or a laptop of a maintenance engineer and all other hardware components of Kelvin TTX that had to be managed. Below you will find a description of how this was achieved:
“Synadia handled this challenge exceptionally well, we did not have to be involved too much! We only had to insert SD card with the updated firmware to existing Kelvin TTX machines once and remote management was immediately possible.”
Iris Hosman | Project Engineer Electron BV
In this project Synadia used following AWS services: AWS CodePipline, AWS CloudFormation, AWS CodeBuild, AWS IoT Thing, AWS IoT Core, AWS IoT GreenGrass, AWS Lambda, Amazon VPC, Amazon S3, Amazon Route 53, AWS Auto Scaling, Amazon EC2.
The complexity of relationships between these building blocks is depicted in the diagram below.
RESULTS AND BENEFITS
The new solution runs in the Ireland region, it was built within two weeks using the DevOps development method and resolves all challenges listed above, namely:
The self-healing platform in AWS is able to tolerate the loss of a full physical location which is more than acceptable for the nature of this project. The provided solution does not require additional human resources for maintenance which is why it is very cost efficient regardless of its utilization. Having used integrated with GitHub AWS CodePipeline in combination with AWS Cloud Formation, Synadia was able to utilize the Infrastructure as Code (IaC) approach to provision fully automated deployments. When necessary, it is possible now to spin up the exact replica of the solution, perform needed tests, create lessons learned log and shut the environment down to save costs. If necessary, it is possible to replicate this solution in another region within a few hours rather than weeks.
“Synadia eliminated all existing challenges and made maintenance of Kelvin TTX much easier, cheaper, quicker and much more convenient!”
Jos Koelewijn | CEO Director Electron BV
This project is just an intermediate step to achieve quick wins for Electron and Synadia. In the next project Kelvin TTX will be functionally controlled at the application level and linked to the cloud using a machine-to-machine “Internet of Things” connectivity protocol. With this project we are just establishing the necessary background, turning the Kelvin TTX machines into IoT Things.
As the next step, Synadia will create a cloud application which will be in fact a collection of cloud-based services for functually managing installed on-premises Kelvin TTX machines from one single place. This project will be a mix of state-of-the-art serverless architecture and IoT, it will allow doctors and specialists to gain worldwide insight into current patient data.
Synadia has freed up valuable staff resources from unnecessary business trips and enabled them to focus on delivering their core activities.
Total monthly costs are below 20 eur regardless of its utilization.
Disaster Recovery is embedded into the design with a Recovery Time Objective(RTO) of just below 2 minutes.
The solution is very simple and does not require any special networking knowledge to use. By a simple click engineers are able to manage the hardware components of Kelvin TTX as if they are connected to the local network.
About Synadia Software
Synadia is Select Consulting Partner founded in 2016 with a strong focus on serverless, IoT and industrial cloud solutions. Synadia is a young, ambitious and innovative company which firmly believes nothing is impossible.
The Synadia explorers use innovation to create new opportunities. To allow things to happen which their clients never thought possible before. Synadia’s ambition is to get advanced partner status next year. Synadia practices DevOps and Continuous Delivery in every project they do.