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"Why is Kithara RealTime just the right solution?"

 

The »RealTime Suite« is the only real-time system to combine:

  • Industrial Automation
  • Machine Vision
  • Hardware Drivers and Communication

seamlessly together while at same time being completely flexible and modular.

 

As a highly flexible solution, the »RealTime Suite« is therefore the best tool for the time-saving and cost-efficient implementation of real-time functions in nearly any conceivable industrial application.

Read further to learn more about the benefits and features of the »RealTime«. Alternatively, jump right in and try out the free test version including the full function range.

The Benefits

1. Stable Real-Time

  • full-featured preemptive multitasking system for “hard“ real-time capabilities
  • integrated real-time extension, thus elimination the need for a separate real-time system
  • more than 20 years of experience in the field of industrial real-time as well as application in a variety of sectors and projects

2. Comprehensive, Modular, Coherent

  • real-time access to most of the relevant industrial interfaces and standards
  • every software package can be individually assembled from over 20 modules
  • flexible software assembly but seamless synergy and performance between modules
  • special focus on automation, vision, automotive, network, hardware communication

3. Development-Friendly

  • familiar development environment and flexible as well as convenient user interface
  • wide system and hardware support: from low to extreme high-end
  • free test version with full function range available for download

Key Information

Funktional Schematic

  1. Communication and synchronization between application and the real-time component is done via shared memory, pipes, mail slots, sockets, events or semaphore.
  2. The PLC Module allows for the programming of control sequences according to IEC 61131-3 with different languages.
  3. The EtherCAT Master is an “Industrial Ethernet” protocol for efficient automation solutions. Fieldbus protocols such as a CANopen Master are provided as well.
  4. Image data from GigE Vision® cameras as well as USB3 Vision® cameras can be captured in real-time and subsequently processed with HALCON™ as well as other libraries.
  5. The priority-based preemptive real-time multitasking environment allows for the allocation of CPU cores solely designated for real-time tasks and provides high frequencies combined with low jitter.

Optimal Development Conditions

Software development with the »RealTime Suite« is designed to achieve high real-time performance while also being as time-saving and cost-efficient as possible.

Scalability

The wide-ranging hardware support of the function library can be adjusted flexibly to many hardware changes. This way, Kithara ensures that PC-based real-time is viable on low system specifications while at the same time taking full advantage of performance benefits of high-end computers. When your programming platform changes, the »RealTime Suite« adjusts.

Below are some of the scalable specifications:

  • Number of utilized logical CPUs and dedicated CPU cores
  • Memory
  • Up to 10 Gbit/s Ethernet
  • Number of utilized Ethernet ports and USB3 ports
  • Number of EtherCAt slaves within topologies incl. PCIe slave cards; all common EtherCAT extensions incl. DC, EoE, FoE, SoE, CoE, FSoE, EAP, HotPlug and others

Update Service

The »RealTime Suite« is constantly being developed further in order to adjust to new conditions, trends and customer feedback. Regular updates upgrade existing functions, add completely new features, fix issues and introduce new hardware support. Additionally, new versions are available to customers for early testing weeks before actual release.

With the new Version 10 the update process has been improved even further.

Developer Tools

Achieving the highest possible efficiency in programming industrial applications depends heavily on the utilized tools. The provided tools for the analysis, visualization and configuration of different parameters are even used in-house here at Kithara and therefore highly suitable for almost every project.

Kernel Tracer

The »Kernel Tracer« is a multi-source real-time message logger. It supports debugging, quality assurance, and in general detecting relations, which are otherwise indeterminate. It provides detailled insights into the inner processes of a PC and of the interfaces supported by the Kitahra real-time system.

Performance Analyzer

The »Performance Analyzer« is a development-related visualization assistant for simultaneous display and monitoring of different relevant system resources. It is an important tool in determining the real-time performance of a system as well as identification of internal system interactions and problem areas.

Master Monitor

The Master Monitor for EtherCAT is a graphical Windows application for the visualization and control of EtherCAT topologies. It can also be utilized as an EtherCAT configurator, making it an essential tool for complex EtherCAT systems.

Fields of Application

The »RealTime Suite« is desinged for the time-efficient, seamless implementation of guaranteed reaction times in nearly any conceivable industrial project that requires "hard" real-time capabilities. Accordingly, there is a wide array of application fields that are covered by the function library; with a strong focus on engineering, measurement technology and research.

Here are some of the fields that already successfully utilize the»RealTime Suite«:


Production and Manufacturing

image: wikimedia

Automated processing of workpieces is often tied to high frequencies of retreived and transmitted positional data in order to achieve accurate control results down to the millimeter. This way, laser welding facilities, wood trimming machines or sophisticated robotic applications benefit from the flexible integration of real-time systems such as the »RealTime Suite« to allow for the efficient deployment of guaranteed reaction times.


Measurement and Test Stand Technology

image: RENK Test System GmbH

Test systems often require high-precision measurement data and immediate control reactions, both of which can only be accommplished with hard real-time capabilities. The Kithara real-time environment is the basis for capturing and processing of critical data sets for both small-scale test applications as well as test systems for automotive functions and even aeronautic gears.

A more specific area is the development of time-critical vehicle functions such as driver assistance systems and autonomous car technologies. These fields require the lossless handling of large amounts of image and sensor data. For these tasks the »RealTime Suite« provides Hardware-in-the-Loop simulations with seamless communication between devices and whole systems to ensure the most realistic conditions.


Quality Assurance and Automated Sorting

image: miho Inspektionssysteme GmbH

Image-guided facilities for packaging, sorting and QA mostly have one driving factor - efficiency. This usually implies that large amounts of work pieces or even bulk material need be processed as quickly as possible. The real-time functions by Kithara for machine vision allow for the fast acquisition of raw image data from industrial camera systems and the subsequent triggering of control reactions to processed image data.