Posts Tagged ‘TCP’

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.

DeviceMaster UPLoaded 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.

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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.

Ward Systems AGV auto-guided vehicle

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 www.comtrol.com/devicemaster

Modbus/TCP Master-to-Master Communication

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Modbus/TCP Communication

A large oil and natural gas platform in the North Sea was expanding their facility capabilities by adding a massive system module (over 1.5 million lbs) to the existing platform infrastructure.  In order for the two systems to communicate seamlessly with one another, the proper communication channels needed to be established.

Control systems on each structure were configured to communicate with each other through a serial Modbus RTU RS-232 or RS-485 channel.  However, the Modbus device configuration on each side was designed to communicate as a master, while traditional Modbus communication takes place between a master and a slave.

Each structure’s respective developers had invested substantial resources into their control systems, so the systems integrator needed to find a way to overcome this obstacle by converting one configuration to act as a slave in the most cost-effective way possible – or by making two Modbus master devices communicate with one another.  Many industry experts have expressed that master-to-master Modbus communication is impossible, but Comtrol had already developed an innovative solution to make a Modbus master communicate with another master.

Modbus TCP Master-to-Master Communication

The systems integrator assigned to this task researched master-to-master connectivity and ultimately discovered the DeviceMaster® UP’s capabilities on a respected online forum.  Hesitantly beginning the application, the integrator was highly satisfied with the end result.

As seen in the diagram, Comtrol was able to fix this integrator’s problem using the DeviceMaster UP 2-Port 2E Modbus gateway running Modbus/TCP firmware.  Information coming from each control system/Modbus master device would be routed through serial Modbus/TCP firmware.  Information coming from each control system/Modbus master device would be routed through serial Modbus RTU into the DeviceMaster UP.  Internally, the firmware essentially provides a Modbus slave to respond to each (external) master’s commands.  The slaves are then internally linked to each other to complete the communication process.  Without viewing the internal configuration, the end user only observes that the DeviceMaster UP enables a successful connection from one master to another.

The Modbus/TCP firmware is the original DeviceMaster UP Modbus application.  It has been designed to provide great flexibility for connecting both Modbus serial slaves and Raw/ASCII devices to a variety of Modbus controllers and applications.  Such advanced Raw/ASCII options as filtering, command/response mode, peer-to-peer Modbus communications, and simultaneous connections to multiple Modbus controllers and/or Ethernet TCP/IP applications make the Modbus/TCP firmware the flagship of all Modbus gateways.

For more information on Modbus master-to-master communication please contact support at 763.957.6000

For more information about Comtrol’s DeviceMaster products, please visit www.comtrol.com/devicemaster

DeviceMaster UP – “Is it really that easy?”

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DeviceMaster UP – Industrial Ethernet Gateway Connectivity

At Comtrol, we believe that gateways should be intelligent, robust and easy to use… and we enjoy explaining that, “Yes, it really is that easy.” With its web-based configuration, example programs, and simplified interfaces, the DeviceMaster UP delivers near plug-and-play Industrial connectivity. To learn more about the DeviceMaster UP’s features including:

DeviceMaster UP industrial ethernet gateway

  • Protocol Flexibility – offering EtherNet/IP, PROFINET IO, Modbus/TCP, Modbus RTU & Modbus/ASCII connectivity
  • DualConnectPlus™ technology
  • Applications
  • Web-based configuration
  • Large received packet support
  • Intelligent packet identification

… and more, (including protocol specifications and highlights) click here!

                                             

Industrial Automation – Bar Code Scanning

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As industrial automation continues to develop and make processes such as scanning, packaging, shipping and assembly more efficient, Comtrol’s products have provided the connectivity required to integrate crucial elements in the automation system.

Bar Code Scanner

In conjunction with Compunetics Systems, a Michigan-based company specializing in automated data collection; Comtrol has contributed to a comprehensive communications solution specifically designed for bar code scanning. Compunetics has developed a custom enclosure containing Comtrol’s DeviceMaster® UP and an internal voltage converter to power the scanning system and convert ASCII serial data from the bar code scanner to EtherNet/IPPROFINET IO or Modbus/TCP (industrial network protocols) for the end programmable logic controller (PLC).

As seen in the diagram, the enclosure has three ports, enabling an RS-232 serial connection, a 24VDC power supply connection and an Ethernet connection. Twenty four volts of direct current power are delivered into the enclosure; once inside the enclosure the standard 24VDC of power is stepped down to five volts where +5VDC is wired into pin nine of the serial port, easily powering the attached scanner. The DeviceMaster UP industrial Ethernet gateway has a flexible power input of 5-30VDC thus allowing performance on the enclosure’s five volt circuit. This serial power delivery eliminates the need to introduce an extra power supply for the bar code scanner. The bar code scanner then sends information and process data back through the serial connection to the DeviceMaster, which routes the information over Ethernet (EtherNet/IP, RROFINET IO or Modbus/TCP) to a PLC.

This joint industrial hardened solution not only enables the automation system, but the enclosure decreases necessary cabling and is customizable upon customer request. Installation is easy; all that is required is the enclosure, a 24VDC power supply, Ethernet cabling, DeviceMaster UP configuration and scanner connection.

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.


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