Customer application December 5, 2022
Safe Filling in Hazardous Areas

As a solution provider for explosion-proof cameras in process and system monitoring, TTS Automation has developed a system for safe loading processes. The intelligent industrial camera allows tank loading processes to be monitored and anomalies detected early. As an intelligent interface for image analysis, TTS relies on the IoT Box from WAGO.

TTS Automation and WAGO:

  • Intelligent industrial camera and WAGO IoT Box for process monitoring

  • Early detection of anomalies and irregularities

  • Safety in the Ex area for people, machines and the environment

  • Modular design for green and brownfields

Detect events before they become dangerous

In 2009, TTS Automation developed the first camera system for Ex areas. The idea was born out of the fact that industries in which hazardous and explosive atmospheres occur in the form of mixtures of air and combustible gases, vapors or mists are subject to explosion protection. When it came to developing an explosion-proof solution for tank loads, the company based in Neustadt an der Weinstraße faced a major challenge: tank loading processes are complex because they go beyond mere process and plant monitoring. Irregularities in the loading must be quickly recognized and remedied. “Our experience has shown that leaks at loading fittings are often preceded by events such as jerking of the pipeline or slumping of the tank vehicle. So we wanted to develop a solution for tank loading that would detect dangers before they arise," recalls Michelle Striegel, who is responsible for marketing and project management at TTS Automation.

It soon became clear that the camera needed intelligence to detect and evaluate potential dangers preventively. For this purpose, controlling the functional sequences must be required on the system side. In search of a suitable system, TTS Automation found the solution at WAGO. “The WAGO IoT Box was exactly the right component for an intelligent camera system,” recalls Wolfgang Laufmann, Global Key Account Manager Digital Plant at WAGO and contact person in the project for TTS Automation.


  • A complete ready-to-use solution

  • Expandable hardware/software

  • Customizable

  • Flexible connection via ETHERNET, WLAN or mobile network

Thanks to the flexible and individual WAGO interface, we implemented a system that protects people, machines and the environment when the tank loads.

Michelle Striegel, Marketing and Sales, TTS Automation

Protecting People, Equipment and the Environment

With the intelligent, automated industrial camera, TTS Automation aims to contribute to the safe and quality-enhancing tank loading in Ex areas. In doing so, the company manages to cover safety on three levels: protect people, equipment and the environment. For this purpose, the intelligent system camera films the entire workflow at different points: When a truck to be loaded drives onto the company premises, the vehicle license plate is scanned by the first camera at the gate or the barrier.

This matches the loading documents with the SAP order and assigns the vehicle to a loading zone. The tank train to be loaded travels into the loading zone assigned to it, and a new scan of the identification occurs. With the second license plate scan, the system is unlocked and incorrect tank loading is prevented.


The vehicle license plate is scanned by the intelligent camera.

The truck driver then places the grounding pliers on the vehicle. After starting the loading process, the driver returns to the safe area of the measuring station and does not have to stay in the hazardous area as they once did. Then the intelligent system camera from TTS automatically zooms in on the tank loading area. Anomalies or irregularities are identified before they become hazardous. If an anomaly is detected, the camera triggers a warning on the screen in the measurement station. The system reacts even before the system fails or stops. The loading process can be stopped automatically via the WAGO IoT Box, and an alarm is triggered. Leaks of explosive or chemical substances are prevented, thus averting fatal environmental and system damage.


The truck goes into the loading zone, the second camera detects the license plate and unlocks the system.

Julian Loesch, Senior Project Manager Automation and Computer System Validation at Pitzek GMP Consulting, planned the project. It was important for him to create added value for potentially explosive areas, in which the loaders and unloaders no longer must be in the danger zone: “The early detection of events via the intelligent system interface between camera and system ensures greater personal safety, contributes to environmental protection and increases the quality of the systems. By solving the optical process monitoring with the TTS Automation system integrator and the connected WAGO system control, nothing stood in the way of technical implementation.”


The truck driver starts the loading process and then goes into the safe area of the measuring station.

Thanks to the solution of optical process monitoring with the system integrator TTS Automation and the connected WAGO system control, nothing stood in the way of technical implementation.

Julian Loesch, Senior Project Manager, Pitzek GMP Consulting

Compact Design with Great Effect

The Palatine company left nothing to chance when developing the new camera. It developed a housing technology that is exceptionally durable and can withstand all atmospheres – the robust camera can also endure dramatically fluctuating conditions such as temperature differences. The front window of the camera is very smooth and thus prevents cracks, brittle dirt or condensation. But that's not all: The camera's small design makes it possible to use in green and brownfields. “The small size of the camera means that it takes up little space in the hazardous area and can be quickly and easily installed anywhere,” explains Julian Loesch. In addition to the small size, TTS Automation has opted for a modular design. “The combination of optical process monitoring and the WAGO IoT Box makes this industrial camera compatible with existing systems, and it can be retrofitted at any time,” says the senior project planner.


The camera from TTS Automation uses the WAGO IoT Box as an intelligent interface.

The Intelligent Interface Between System and Camera

WAGO provided the core element in the development of the interface: “The WAGO IoT Box finally made the intelligent industrial camera complete and made it possible to link all parts of the system together,” explains Wolfgang Laufmann. The integrated WAGO Controller PFC200, as a component of the IoT Box, is an intelligent gateway that establishes communication between systems on the system side and performs the integration on the IT side. “Virtually an intelligent OT/IT system”, says Laufmann. With its high flexibility, the controller offers two different approaches: The scalable system can either be used as a single component to expand existing control cabinets, or supplied as a complete system solution consisting of a ready-made IoT box. “This saves the end user an enormous amount of planning, time and testing,” says Wolfgang Laufmann. Via the system's floating contacts, the WAGO PFC200's input modules detect the signals and the output modules activate signals such as warning lights, speed cameras or horns during tank loading.

PFC200 Controller

Simplify the engineering, control and visualization of your projects with the PFC200 Controller thanks to e!COCKPIT (CODESYS V3) and Linux®.


Ready-to-Use Solutions for Industry 4.0

The WAGO IoT Box is the perfect solution for connecting new and existing systems.

Moving Away from Separate Camera Control to Integrated DCS Control

With the intelligent industrial camera, TTS Automation has brought meaningful innovation to the Ex area market. Further development of the system is already well under way. “Camera control will no longer run through a separate system; the entire process will be controllable via a uniform process control system,” says Michelle Striegel proudly. “Whether it's enlarging the picture, starting and stopping charging processes or entering parameters, everything is possible via a process control system.” Even though new areas are being explored, much is already planned. “For example, thermal monitoring of reactors is conceivable for detecting anomalies in temperature trends,” says the marketing manager. One thing is certain, though: Whether for trucks, rail vehicles or ship loading and anywhere critical or dangerous process applications occur, intelligent process monitoring and control can make an enormous contribution to human, environmental and system safety in the future.

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