Though its broad use in industrial applications was in question just a decade ago, few people today would argue with the fact that Ethernet has fast become the preferred industrial network communication platform. Despite is ubiquity, there remains a large learning curve around industrial Ethernet given the structure of PLC and I/O communications. Plus there is the ever-present issue of having to connect devices from multiple vendors.
To help smooth that learning curve, ProSoft Technology has recently released a new tutorial video addressing Ethernet use on the plant floor. The primary goal of the video is to help viewers better understand industrial communication requirements in order to choose the best communication method for a variety of industrial applications. This is a major issue considering that some Ethernet-based protocols cannot support I/O messaging and gateways require editing of PLC code to be configured as servers.
Yes, this video does feature the use of ProSoft Technology products, but the principles explained in the video apply to all industrial Ethernet products on the market.
Some of the lessons highlighted in the video include:
- Explanation of client/server data and I/O messaging, including details of how variation in message timing and messaging priority is handled;
- Why SCADA and HMI devices are clients, but drives and I/O can be configured as servers or slaves;
- Examples of configuring a device for use as a client, server or I/O;
- How to connect an Ethernet/IP PLC to Modbus TCP HMI using a gateway to exchange data at a rate no slower than 500 msec;
- How to connect a Siemens OEM PLC to an Ethernet/IP PLC with a data rate of no less than 50 msec;
- Connecting a Profinet PLC to an Ethernet/IP PLC with data rates as low as 10 msec; and
- Connecting an Ethernet/IP PLC to five drives using Modbus TCP.
The industrial Ethernet tutorial video from ProSoft Technology can be viewed below: