Posts Tagged ‘DeviceMaster UP’

Creative Solutions for Industrial Automation

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In an industry as unique as industrial automation, it can be difficult to find the products to fit your business’ needs. Comtrol’s products have many applications in the industrial space. Our DeviceMaster UP, RocketLinx Industrial Ethernet switches, and IO-Link Masters have been utilized in manufacturing and distribution centers, connecting multiple production processes, and in making efficient applications run seamlessly.

With its feature rich options, Comtrol’s DeviceMaster UP provides EtherNet/IP™, Modbus/TCP, Modbus RTU/ASCII, and PROFINET connectivity to a wide variety of devices. Easily connect your PLCs to serial and Ethernet TCP/IP devices such as barcode scanners, RFID readers, weigh scales, vision systems, printers, encoders, and sensors. DeviceMaster UP has been used in many industrial automation settings to improve the efficiency of assembly lines, communication between different automated systems, and more.

The RocketLinx Industrial Ethernet switches are designed to meet the performance and environmental demands for applications requiring extended operating temperatures, rugged housings and high performance and reliability. With both managed and unmanaged models available, the RocketLinx ES series of switches provide cost-effective networking solutions delivering the industry’s best Ethernet switch technologies.

Offering advanced industrial protocol gateways such as IO-Link masters, to ruggedized Ethernet and PoE switches, power supplies, and media converters, Comtrol has a solution for your industrial manufacturing application.

Custom DeviceMaster for Product Organization

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A large company approached Comtrol with a tricky situation. Because the client’s primary business required the rapid and efficient movement of merchandise, they were continuously sorting thousands of barcode labels every day. The client’s current sorting platforms could not process any barcodes longer than 10-digits, and with such large volumes of barcodes, they needed a way to upgrade their system. This urgent need for a cost efficient and timely solution brought the company to Comtrol Corporation.

Comtrol was able to design and implement a custom solution for this client. Using a DeviceMaster UP, Comtrol created custom message routing, custom diagnostic and configuration pages, and full documentation on the custom product.

Read more HERE

Customer Solution: Industrial Brewery Production and Diagnostics

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A major American brewing company was in need of a solution for its production facilities that could network multiple production processes together  and be able to withstand temperatures in excess of 140°F without failing. Multiple controllers and production machines needed to be seamlessly connected, and it had to work flawlessly.  After extensive research and testing, the company chose to deploy Comtrol’s DeviceMaster® UP.

Loaded with Modbus/TCP firmware, the DeviceMaster UP provides the brewery a flexible, easy-to-use and highly robust solution.  Controllers include SCADA systems communicating over Modbus/TCP and PLCs communicating via Modbus/TCP, serial Modbus/RTU or serial Modbus/ACSII.  The production machines communicate via ASCII data, Modbus/RTU or Modbus/ASCII.  Further complicating the situation, the ASCII data machines need to communicate to each controller independently.

The DeviceMaster UP seamlessly networks the controllers to the production machines. The automatic Modbus protocol conversion functionality enables multiple Modbus controllers to communicate to the serial Modbus machines.  The industry’s first command/response mode enables multiple controllers to independently communicate to the ASCII production machines.


Product Spotlight: DeviceMaster® UP

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The DeviceMaster UP industrial Ethernet gateways are designed to provide EtherNet/IP, Modbus/TCP, Modbus RTU/ASCII, and PROFINET PLC connectivity to a wide variety of devices.

Advanced features include:


  • Protocol Flexibility – EtherNet/IP, Modbus/TCP, PROFINET IO
  • DualConnectPlus™ Technology – connect raw/ASCII devices (serial and/or Ethernet) to PLCs and/or applications simultaneously.  String, RFID, and barcode data filtering eliminates redundant data while extracting the RFID and barcode parameters
  • Web-based Configuration – makes configuration changes quick and easy
  • Diagnostic Capabilities – informative message logs, communication, and status pages
  • Unique protocol-specific features – Peer-to-Peer Modbus/TCP, Write-to-Tag EtherNet/IP, etc.
  • Temperature rated for extreme conditions 
  • Rugged Housing – with panel, rack and DIN rail mounting options
  • PortVision™ Plus - remote monitoring and management software to automatically locate DeviceMaster UPs on the network, enable user to view status, update firmware and resolve issues remotely
  • …and more!


Energy Substation Surveillance & Power Monitoring

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With rising value of scrap metal and struggling economies throughout the world, theft of copper and other materials is on the rise.  Surveillance is increasing at energy substations, power plants and other critical infrastructure locations in attempt to deter thieves from cashing in stolen copper wiring, aluminum doors and other materials at scrap yards or metal melting facilities.

Comtrol and a few other companies have collaborated to create a solar-powered security system to monitor critical infrastructure around the world.  The system is responsible for monitoring the power grid and establishing surveillance to prevent material theft and protect critical operations.  As seen in the diagram, security cameras in each location record live feed from the grounds to send via Ethernet to Comtrol’s RocketLinx® ES8105 industrial Ethernet switch.  The data travels via Ethernet to a wireless bridge, which communicates the data to a remote control center network.



Aircraft Part Manufacturing Automation

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A large sensor and measuring instrument manufacturer has teamed up with Comtrol to offer an innovative factory automation capability to industrial manufacturers and warehouse distribution centers.  Optimizing efficiency and increasing productivity through mechanization and industrial innovation is the goal.

An industrial production company creating aircraft parts received a plan from a factory automation integrator to streamline a floor process in the warehouse.  The specific assembly process was responsible for etching numbers onto finished parts and readying them for shipment.

Included in the assembly, the sensor manufacturer’s laser marking machine etches part numbers on the completed projects.  A robotic arm then receives each etched piece and packs it properly for shipping.  This configuration is integrated and controlled by a PLC, PC application and Comtrol’s DeviceMaster® UP 2-Port 2E with its DualConnectPlus™ feature.  This manufacturer needed to connect the raw/ASCII laser marker over serial RS-232 to an EtherNet/IP enabled PLC.

keyence laser marker industrial automation factory automation


Ethernet Over Fiber-Optics: As clear as glass!

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As the demand for Ethernet connectivity increases in the market, so do the demands on Ethernet connectivity.  By transmitting Ethernet signals over fiber-optic cabling, users are able to extend the distance Ethernet signals will reach, protect against external Electro-Magnetic Interference (eliminating internal), and shield products from electrical surges.  All in all – by transmitting your data through light in a glass cable, fiber-optic connectivity is a great way to get more out of your Ethernet connections!

While the sales pitch on fiber above certainly sounds appealing, there are many aspects to consider during a migration to fiber-optic connectivity.  In order to select the best fiber optic connectivity solution, we must address:

1. Type of fiber-optic communication
2. Bandwidth
3. Fiber-optic connection type

Relating directly to these concerns, users must ask themselves

1. Type of fiber-optic communication

How do I want my data to be sent over fiber?

fiber-optic communication Fiber-optic communication is available in two different forms: Single-Mode and Multi-Mode.  Single-Mode, generally associated with longer distance capabilities, provides a hyper-efficient mode of transportation for the data-carrying light signals.  Multi-Mode fiber, while less expensive, is a less efficient method of fiber transmission.  As data travels across Single-Mode fiber it will degrade less than it would over the same distance with Multi-Mode fiber.

Furthermore, each fiber strand is designed to support a specific wavelength of fiber transmission.  Wavelength, measuring the distance between successive crests of a light wave, also influences efficiency and distance fiber can be transmitted.


Efficiency in Energy Management

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An energy meter manufacturing company based in Cairo, Egypt discovered that there is an economical solution to the extra time and cost that can be accrued by sending out company personnel to manually read electrical meters and log energy usage from each floor of a commercial building.

Property management and energy companies can reduce time and expenses by adding a DeviceMaster® Ethernet gateway to their physical system configurations as well as a corresponding software program on their networks.

Comtrol’s DeviceMaster UP 1-Port has been used by the energy meter manufacturing company to complement its meters and provide as a package to property management companies.  The DeviceMaster UP 1-Port has the capability to connect the energy meters together for remote reading and monitoring.device master ethernet gateway energy connectivity


Ward Systems Inc. Auto-Guided Manufacturing Vehicle

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An industrial automation manufacturing company located in Grass Valley, California, needed to create and design a working communication system to connect multiple devices on auto-guided machines.  Ward Systems Inc., designs manufactures and distributes automated pallet handlers used in warehouse and industrial settings.

devicemaster rocketlinx industrial automation

In order for the handlers to be automatically guided through a warehouse with precision, cameras attached to the vehicle itself must be as accurate as possible.  These cameras also need to interact with a PLC running Modbus TCP/IP, which writes and ready data to and from the cameras’ power for efficient battery usage.

As shown to the right, five cameras needed to communicate with a PLC on each handler.  Ward Systems decided to use Comtrol’s DeviceMaster® UP 4-Port and a daisy-chained DeviceMaster UP 1-Port to provide support for each camera.  All of the cameras are directly connected to one network switch, which is then connected to the DeviceMaster switch, which is then connected to the DeviceMaster UP 4-Port and DeviceMaster UP 1-Port.  The PLC is also connected to the network switch, along with a detachable PC used for configuration and programming.  An RFID reader and a custom PCB board connect to the two remaining ports on the DeviceMaster UP 4-Port.

The cameras on the pallet handlers support raw/ASCII data, while the PLC supports Modbus TCP/IP.  Comtrol’s DeviceMaster UP enables communication between the two different protocols to make the entire system a success.

Comtrol’s DeviceMaster UP is designed to provide innovative PLC to device connectivity.  The DeviceMaster UP provides EtherNet/IP, Modbus/TCP, Modbus RTU/ASCII, and PROFINET IO connectivity to a wide variety of devices.  A highly advanced raw/ASCII device interface functionality simplifies PLC programming and ensures robust operation.  These features greatly simplify connecting devices such as bar code scanners, RFID readers, weigh scales, vision systems, printers, encoders and sensors to PLCs.  The DeviceMaster UP’s many unique features provide connectivity options and flexibility not provided by other gateway products.

For more information about Comtrol’s DeviceMaster products, please visit

DeviceMaster® UP Plays Key Role in Oil Pipeline Monitoring

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System critical automation processes, such as monitoring oil pipelines, can be very demanding on a communication infrastructure.  Performing reliable real-time communication over long distances from multiple Modbus masters to large numbers of remote devices can be a major challenge.  The communication equipment must be highly flexible and robust to perform such a task and the DeviceMaster UP meets that challenge.

oil pipeline monitoring device server modbus

When a major oil company asked Comtrol to help them upgrade their current pipeline infrastructure, Comtrol provided a solution with the DeviceMaster UP running our Modbus Router firmware.  Highly flexible and robust, the Modbus router provided the required communication needs.  Multiple Ethernet and serial Modbus masters were connected to multiple serial Modbus slaves.  The flexible Modbus routing capabilities, the wide operating temperature range, and the robust operation provided by the DeviceMaster UP proved to be the perfect solution.

the process of transporting oil from the oil well to the refining plant must be monitored very closely in order to ensure the total overall health of the system.  Sensors all the way along the length of the pipeline must be constantly checked to ensure safe flow rates, pressure levels and temperatures are maintained.  When a problem is detected, it must be quickly dealt with to avert a possible shutdown or, in worse cases, a catastrophic failure.

Satellite links are used to connect the control center where the SCADA systems reside, to remote Ethernet networks.  It is at those remote Ethernet networks where the DeviceMaster UP provides simultaneous connections between both Ethernet and dial-up modem-based serial Modbus masters to the Modbus slave devices.  In this way, all the individual remote networks, or subnets, are combined to form one large network.  Comtrol’s Modbus Router provides the required real-time connectivity between the Modbus controllers and devices on the network.

Modbus Router Firmware

Modbus router DeviceMaster UP

  • Highly flexible with many Modbus connectivity options
  • Masters: Modbus/TCP, Serial Modbus RTU/ASCII, and Modbus RTU/ASCII over Ethernet TCP/IP
  • Slaves: Modbus/TCP and Serial Modbus RTU/ASCII
  • Automatic protocol conversion and routing
  • Turn serial Modbus masters into Modbus/TCP masters for network wide connectivity
  • Connect Modbus masters to Modbus devices anywhere on a network
  • Simultaneously connect multiple Modbus masters to individual slave devices


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