New EtherNet/IP Linking Devices Enable Communication Between Rockwell PLCs and Devices on PROFIBUS, Modbus-TCP and Serial Lines

HMS Industrial Networks now introduces a new family of Linking Devices for EtherNet/IP allowing users to connect any serial, PROFIBUS or Modbus-TCP device to a Rockwell ControlLogix or CompactLogix PLC.

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HMS Industrial Networks now introduces a new family of Linking Devices for EtherNet/IP allowing users to connect any serial, PROFIBUS or Modbus-TCP device to a Rockwell ControlLogix or CompactLogix PLC. The Linking Devices offer a unique integration to Rockwell’s Studio5000 Logix Designer as all configuration is made from inside Studio 5000.

The new EtherNet/IP Linking Devices are designed to enable straight-forward integration of Rockwell PLCs into other industrial network architectures, in a seamless and fast way. Besides being a more cost-effective alternative to in-chassis communication modules, the distributed EtherNet/IP Linking Devices also bring other advantages:

Improved system architecture

Contrary to an in-chassis module which is physically connected to the PLC, the Linking Devices can be mounted close to the connected machine. This means that it is possible to establish a connection via a single Ethernet cable instead of multiple network specific cables. The Linking Devices support ODVA’s Device Level Ring (DLR) for ring topology.

Easier configuration

As part of the Ethernet/IP Linking Devices solution, users access PROFIBUS, Modbus-TCP and serial protocol configuration through their existing Studio 5000 software. All configuration is made inside Studio 5000 where there is support for Process Variable Data Tags and manual and automatic generation of named and structured Studio 5000 Controller Tags without any required user logic.

High performance and stability

Since the Linking Devices are stand-alone (distributed), they do not affect PLC backplane performance (PLC execution time), even when large amount of data is transferred. The PLC simply scans the Linking Device as if it were any other I/O device on the network. This is especially relevant for the PROFIBUS and Modbus-TCP versions which allow for “big data” (up to 4 KB I/O in each direction).

Easier system integration

“The EtherNet/IP Linking Devices from HMS Industrial Networks are unique in the sense that they offer a very tight integration to Rockwell Studio 5000 and the ControlLogix and CompactLogix  PLCs,” says Markus Bladh, Product Manager at HMS Industrial Networks. ”All configuration is made from inside the Rockwell environment using Custom Add-On Profiles. Data structures are dynamically generated for each connected device, and this in combination with the fact that Studio 5000 controller tags can be automatically generated, makes life a lot easier for PLC programmers. These are unique features on the market and the efficiency gains are substantial.”

The EtherNet/IP Linking Devices from HMS will be showcased at the Rockwell Automation Fair in Chicago November 18-19 and released in 2016.

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