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Posts Tagged ‘EtherNet/IP’

Creative Solutions for Industrial Automation

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Industrial Automation

Industrial Automation

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.

Worldwide Release: IO-Link Master DR-8-EIP

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Worldwide Release
IO-Link Master DR-8-EIPPicture1

PART NUMBER: 99590-6


  • Eight channel IO-Link Master to EtherNet/IP™ with additional digital inputs on every port
  • Screw terminal connectors for IO-Link, Power, and Digital IO
  • Two DI/DO ports and two DI ports
  • EtherNet/IP™ and Modbus TCP access to IO-Link process, event, and service data
  • EtherNet/IP™ Class 1 (Implicit) and Class 3 (Explicit) interfaces
  • IP20 DIN rail mount enclosure

The newest addition to the Comtrol line of the IO-Link Master products, the DR-8-EIP, enables plug and play communication of up to eight intelligent IO-Link devices to EtherNet/IP™ and Modbus TCP networks deployed across factory and industrial environments.

                   READ FULL PRESS RELEASE >>

For more information or to request an evaluation unit, contact [email protected] or 763.957.6000


DeviceMaster UP: SmartPapers – PLC to Floor Device Connectivity

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DeviceMaster UP
DeviceMaster UPFor most organizations employing sophisticated automation systems for manufacturing, distribution, and warehousing have historically been hampered by technical and feasibility issues connecting plant floor devices to PLCs within the enterprise due to incompatibility with industrial automation control systems.

This communication problem is solved with the DeviceMaster UP.

When Smart Papers, a leading commercial paper manufacturer, set the goal to improve finished product quality assurance and gain more detailed manufacturing lot information using existing infrastructure, they chose the DeviceMaster UP.  It worked perfectly with their EtherNet/IP network, which extended commercial off-the-shelf Ethernet to the Common Industrial Protocol (CIP™), and upper layer protocol fully compatible with standard TCP/IP protocols such as HTTP and SNMP.  CIP allows EtherNet/IP product developers, system integrators and users to apply the same objects and profiles for plug-and-play interoperability among devices from multiple vendors and in multiple sub-nets.  EtherNet/IP provides manufacturers with a proven and future-proof Ethernet network solution, one that incorporates all the advantages that have made Ethernet and internet technologies ubiquitous and essential in office applications, while delivering interoperable, open network products that are supported by a vast network of vendors worldwide.


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:

DeviceMaster UP industrial Ethernet gateways

  • 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!


Connecting an Ethernet raw ASCII device to EtherNet/IP

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How logical!

– Joe House

Comtrol’s DeviceMaster® UP is most commonly associated with connecting serial devices to industrial protocols such as EtherNet/IP.  This common association tells less than half of the DeviceMaster UP’s capabilities in EtherNet/IP. The DeviceMaster UP is also capable of connecting ASCII over Ethernet devices to EtherNet/IP – something that is only logical.

A single DeviceMaster UP 1-Port is capable of supporting one serial connection AND one logical, TCP socket connection simultaneously.  By supporting both connections simultaneously, a DeviceMaster UP 1-Port can connect two devices to a PLC.

ASCII - Ethernet port splitterIf the DeviceMaster UP only has one Ethernet port – how can you connect two things into a single port?

The DeviceMaster UP supports ASCII over Ethernet connections through a logical TCP socket connection, something that only requires the DeviceMaster UP, Ethernet device, and PLC be on the same network.  Put in different terms – the DeviceMaster UP, Ethernet device, and PLC must all be able to communicate via TCP/IP addressing.

There are certainly many ways to put three products on the same network. The easiest, however, is to connect all three products to one of Comtrol’s RocketLinx Ethernet switches such as the ES8105.  This method is shown below.  Please note the black lines illustrate physical connections via copper Ethernet cables while the dotted red line represents a logical connection between the Ethernet device (printer) and the PLC.  This is the intended target for data transmission.

DeviceMaster Ethernet to EtherNet/IP


As the number of Ethernet connected devices continues to increase in the industrial market space, it is foolish to expect them all to behave the same.  Some devices, such as a bar code scanner may just send ASCII data without command from the PLC.  Anytime a new bar code is read it is automatically packetized and sent.  Other devices, like a printer, may demand a prompt from the PLC to send data. The PLC says, “print this,” and the printer prints and reports back, “Done.”

Clearly this is an oversimplification but it does lead to a valid point.  To truly provide a flexible connection to EtherNet/IP when communicating with ASCII over Ethernet devices, the DeviceMaster UP must be able to work with both devices that simply send data and those that demand a prompt to send data.  In context of establishing connections, the DeviceMaster UP is capable of operating as either a client or server.  In other words, the DeviceMaster UP can be set to listen for a connection – or to initiate one.

Either way, the DeviceMaster UP can be configured easily through the web interface under the “Configure Ethernet Device” heading.  For a bar code scanner, a customer may select the DeviceMaster UP to be configured as a client; a client simply listens to the ASCII over Ethernet data from the scanner and sends it on to the PLC after converting to EtherNet/IP.  In the above printing application, the DeviceMaster UP may operate as a server – receiving commands from the PLC in EtherNet/IP and passing them onto the printer in TCP/IP.  Whichever way your application demands you will be greeted by the below page:

DeviceMaster UP

After entering all appropriate system information, the DeviceMaster UP can make your intended connection – from an Ethernet device to EtherNet/IP.  In the end it is the DeviceMaster’s flexibility that makes it a valuable product, whether converting serial to EtherNet/IP, or Ethernet (TCP/IP) to EtherNet/IP, the Comtrol DeviceMaster UP is the ticket – either way it’s only logical!

Visit Comtrol at SPS/IPC/DRIVES – November 27-29, 2012

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SPS IPC Drives

SPS/IPC/DRIVES is Europe’s leading exhibition for electric automation. Meet suppliers of electric automation technology from around the world. Inform yourself about all products, trends and innovations within the industry.

Come visit Comtrol at the PNO Booth: Hall 6, Stand 210 

Comtrol IO-Link Master EIP-4

Where we will be introducing our IO-Link Master EIP-4 in a feature-rich demo! 

  • EtherNet/IP and Modbus access to IO-Link sensor process, event and service data
  • Rugged IP67 housing with M12 connectors for harsh environments
  • DLR for fast network recovery
  • Wide operating temperature (0° to +70°C)
  • Powerful web configuration

EtherNet/IP      Modbus      PROFINET


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