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Retrofit of an AWT (automatic goods transport) system based on the model case “Klinikum Fulda gAG”

Portfolio: Automation
Industries: Logistics


The AWT system at Fulda Hospital – underground and away from patient traffic – controls about 360 containers that guarantee supply and disposal services to every hospital ward. The purpose of modernization was to ensure the future availability of the AWT system and to find a solution to the problem of procuring spare parts, as well as to enable future system expansions. Despite the modifications and troubleshooting, it was also necessary that the system’s basic functionality remain as unchanged as possible to minimize training requirements for hospital staff.


HEITEC replaced the existing S5 controllers (SIMATIC S5-135U) with controllers from the S7 family (Siemens S7 TIA Portal). PROFINET was deployed as a modern bus system and the outdated read/write systems (solenoids) were replaced by a modern and expandable RFID system. The existing sensor and actuator hardware was retained as per the customer’s request but is now integrated via ET200SP input/output modules (Siemens). The function of the control system is now performed by a computer with WinCC visualization software whose visual representation of the system was adapted as closely as possible to the screens of the previously used InTouch system.


  • Guaranteed system availability and spare parts supply
  • Use of powerful systems from the latest controller generation, and thus the optimal platform for future expansions
  • Minimal downtimes during the conversion phase thanks to parallel operation of old and successor systems
  • Gradual replacement of old read/write technology with the RFID concept
  • Adaptation and optimization of sequences in line with customer’s many years of operating experience
  • Inclusion of desired changes and troubleshooting
  • Reduced training requirements for system users thanks to  no change in operation or visual representation and retention of the system