AIT of TH Köln provides practical experience to automation engineering students




With Software Defined Automation (SDA), TH Köln Institut für Automation & Industrial IT (AIT) provides students with a practice environment for programmable logic controller (PLC) software development. Students can complete coursework anytime from any computer, while administrators no longer individually manage and distribute virtual machines, saving significant organizational effort and time.

About AIT of TH Köln

AIT of TH Köln offers automation engineering students a comprehensive educational program with modern equipment, application-oriented courses, and numerous research and industrial projects. The Institute acts as a link between fields of study, ranging from classic automation technology to computer science, and professional practice.

Customer Challenge

To provide students with practical, hands-on experience with PLCs, AIT of TH Köln offers a practice environment for software development in Siemens TIA Portal. Previously, school administrators spent significant time and effort individually managing and distributing virtual machines to the students. Students often encountered set up and performance issues that took away from learning.


Software Defined Automation is a single integrated solution for multi-vendor PLC code management. With SDA, PLC management and development is efficient, secure, and simple, so that factories can increase uptime, reduce mean time to recover in the event of a disruption, and get the most out of their assets. The solution includes PLC code Version Control, Browser-based Engineering, automated Backup, and Secure Remote Access.

SDA’s browser-based engineering supports third-party specialized IDEs, such as Siemens TIA Portal, CODESYS, or Beckhoff TwinCAT. Students can access the specialized IDEs in the browser with a click of the button.

Built natively on Amazon Web Services (AWS), SDA leverages more than 20 services, including Amazon Cognito for authentication, Amazon DynamoDB and Amazon S3 for storage, versioning, and traceability, Amazon EC2 to stream specialized engineering IDEs as well as AWS Lambda, Amazon EventBridge, and Amazon Simple Queue Service for implementing its serverless event-driven capabilities.

Results and Benefits

With SDA and AWS, AIT of TH Köln has a modern cloud solution that enables students to complete coursework and prepare for exams anytime from any computer without performance issues. School administrators gain back time and reduce effort since they no longer have to individually manage and distribute virtual machines.

About SDA

Software Defined Automation provides IT-like DevOps tools for automation engineers to increase factory uptime and security with a seamless, comprehensive, integrated solution that enables customers to manage PLC projects for heterogeneous vendors, automate backup, track changes, and use AI to understand legacy code quickly.

Software Defined Automation is a Differentiated AWS Partner Network (APN) Software Partner and is available on the AWS Marketplace.