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KHIS: technical specifications

Why do I need the KH Information Server?
In many cases, connecting automated systems is desirable. The concepts in Table 1 (below) show some advantages that can be achieved if one aims for an integrated system, where the various devices, systems and peripherals are connected and communicate with each other. In addition, the advantages of an integrated system are evident in various fields, such as:

• Quick insight into data across all layers of the ANSI / ISA-95 pyramid.
• To reduce costs and be able to make better choices in the area of operational effectiveness through insight into a variety of KPIs.
• Minimizing unexpected and expensive downtime by being able to better estimate when maintenance is desired.
• Optimizing the production process by implementing solutions with advanced analytics and optimization software.

Nevertheless, it is not easy to realize the connections which bring these benefits. The biggest obstacles are usually related to the various protocols of different systems, different types of data and the scattered distribution of such systems or devices. The connections through other techniques, such as SCADA, Historian or OPC are often not efficient. Necessary protocol conversions may not be supported, data conversion may not be possible or the total costs are too high. Then, the KH Information Server provides a more suitable solution.

The KH Information Server software runs on a Windows operations system. The software is fast, efficient and extremely reliable. Once implemented, it can play an important role by collecting the right data, from the right systems, when required. The KHIS can convert the data (the structure or the data type) and optionally communicate the data directly via reporting, e-mail or SMS. For the constantly growing list of protocols that can be connected via the KH Information Server, click here.

Table 1: the benefits that can be achieved by striving to an integrated system with the KH Information Server

Enterprise-Control System Integration (ISA-95): ISA-95 is the international standard for the integration of office and production automation. The ISA-95 pyramid consists of 5 different levels of industrial automation: from planning & logistics (eg ERP) to control in the field (eg sensors and actuators).
Systems Interconnectivity: Interconnectivity of systems refers to the state of a network of devices, systems and peripherals which as a whole are connected. It can be further elaborated as all parts of a system, which interact with one another and cannot be analyzed if considered alone.
System Integration: System integration refers to the physical or functional integration of various subsystems to one system, wherein the sub-systems function as a dynamic entity.
Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) Reduction: TCO refers to the financial estimations which are intended to estimate the direct and indirect costs of a system or product. For the industry it includes a variety of costs, such as, inter alia, "Ship and Re-Ship costs" and "opportunity costs".
Predictive maintenance (PDM): Predictive maintenance (PDM) techniques have been designed to assist in the determination of the condition of machines or apparatus, in order to predict when maintenance should be performed. PDM seeks to minimize unexpected downtime.
Manufacturing KPI’s: Continuous monitoring of Key Performance Indicators (KPIs), such as operating hours and failures, can help make decisions in terms of TCO, but also to predict maintenance. The effectiveness of your entire production process is improved when KPIs are clearly and quickly comprehensible.
Overall Equipment Effectiveness (OEE): Methods developed to determine to what extent a production process is used effectively. The information collected from different devices and systems can be analyzed to determine where bottlenecks are and how production flow can be improved.


KH Information Server in comparison to other techniques, such as OPC and OPC-UA
Besides the above mentioned advantages, the KH Information Server has a number of other important advantages when compared to techniques such as OPC and OPC-UA.

Multiple servers or licenses
When the KHIS is installed to facilitate the link between two systems, but the environment is highly complex, multiple connections must sometimes be established to achieve the same goal. In these more complex cases there is no need to purchase additional servers. When it concerns one solution (or connection), it is possible to connect the KHIS parallel several times on the same machine (the output of one KHIS, can be the input of the second). The KHIS Control Manager can manage different KHIS processes on one machine in one place. This is an efficient solution for complex situations in which the standard one-on-one coupling of the KHIS is insufficient. It offers advantages with respect to the licensing model in comparison to, for example, OPC servers, where usually a price is paid by the server data points and the number of active data points. A complex solution as mentioned above, with multiple parallel servers, is then very inefficient in terms of costs.

Higher degree of intelligence
Via SQL (Structured Query Language) and TCL (Tool Command Language) it is possible to incorporate different forms of intelligence in the KHIS. The KHIS can both act as the link between systems, as well as a system which continuously monitors a number of parameters. Then, the KHIS makes autonomous decisions, which further ensure that your production process can work smarter and more efficiently.

Straightforward implementation
Installation and configuration of a KHIS is straightforward; generally the KHIS is up and running within a few hours. Thereafter, the KHIS operates independently requiring a minimal amount of maintenance.

Degree of customer-specific configurations
The KHIS can be fully customized according to your wishes, so it always fits seamlessly into any production or manufacturing environment. That way, you are always able to achieve the intended added value.

How does the KH Information Server work?
The global architecture of the KHIS is depicted in the figure below.

The data sources are connected (in the figure, left and right). These are the modules, and contain the various protocols of the machines. As you can see multiple modules can be added to the same KHIS server, so the software is scalable and flexible. SQL-92, the third version of the SQL standard, is integrated as standard in the KH Information Server. The SQL-92 layer is slightly modified, allowing us to run for example dynamic queries. Finally, the Tool Command Language (TCL) is integrated in the KHIS. This allows for scripting, for example loops and functions which further expand the intelligent functionalities of the KHIS. With these three integrated layers, it is possible to convert data structure or data types during the conversion of the two coupled protocols (for example, changing the date format from Dutch to Chinese). The data sources are then identified and picked up by SQL queries. The only condition for a successful installation of the KHIS is that there is sufficient knowledge about the data sources, that they are ready at the time of installation and that they are available and accessible at the time of configuration.

Examples of technical configurations of the KH Information Server

Configuration 1: SCADA to SAP ERP

(Configuration 1 – Click the image to enhance)

In this configuration, the KH Information Server facilitates data exchange between SCADA (via the Historian Database) and the SAP ERP system. The coupling is shown graphically in Configuration 1. The original SCADA protocol (SCADA-API) is stored in the historian database. The KH Information Server can retrieve information using SQL statements and translate it into the SAP ERP Protocol (B2MML). The connection works vice versa as well. The KH Information Server can also send e-mails, such as messages for the operators working in the factory. A log file is kept, too.

Configuration 2: SCADA to Remote Site or Company

(Configuration 2 – Click the image to enhance)

In this configuration, the KH Information Server facilitates data exchange between SCADA and remote business systems. The coupling is shown graphically in Configuration 2. The original protocols can vary. Here, as an example, CSV, XML, XLS and TXT are used. These are picked up by the KH Information Server converted to the SCADA-API protocol and sent to SCADA. For the data transferred on can think of KPIs or data related to OEE, such as, information relating to hours of operation or maintenance.

Configuration 3: Smart Devices to MIS/ERP

(Configuration 3 – Click the image to enhance)
In this configuration, the KH Information Server facilitates data exchange between intelligent devices (such as smart phones or smart meters) and a MIS or ERP system. The link is shown graphically in Configuration 3. The KH Information Server can convert text messages into a desired format such as XML, ODBC or Web. Very specific protocols are included as well, in this example the smart meter (AMR / AMI IEC 61107 and ANSI protocol c12.21) can be converted to the desired format.

Do you want to know more?
Do you want more information or are you curious about the possibilities for your configuration? Please contact our team of experts by sending us an email.



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