Since the advent of the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT), protocol conversion has been the key to connecting legacy and multivendor devices to networks. The most common protocol conversion is Modbus-RTU-to-Modbus-TCP conversion, and is usually required when metering devices, mostly using Modbus RTU, need to be integrated with SCADA systems, mostly using Modbus TCP. For factory or plant owners, this kind of integration ensures that they reap the benefits of the IIoT, such as reducing energy consumption while maximizing productivity.
Protocol conversion is normally done in one of three ways. The first option is to write a program on an embedded computer or industrial PC. The cost may be relatively low from a hardware point of view, but it requires a software engineer who knows C language extensively. The second option is to use a small PLC that supports software add-on protocol library or a hardware communication module. It requires PLC programmability and additional expenditure. Both options require that engineers must be familiar with protocols’ behavior so that they are able to handle exceptions.
The third option is to use a Modbus protocol gateway. It is a standalone protocol converter that is easy to use and integrate, and it comes with dedicated functions, for example, troubleshooting. Deploying Modbus protocol gateways helps quick integration for a large number of Modbus RTU devices. Thus, for inexperienced engineers, there is no need to worry that they would be stumped by an insufficient knowledge of protocol.
Features and benefits
- Minimize costs when connecting Modbus-TCP devices to your PLC. More cost-efficient than an in-chassis solution
- Allows support for “Big Data” – handling up to 8 KB of I/O data over multiple I/O connections on EtherNet/IP
- Speed up configuration through a seamless integration with Studio 5000 Logix Designer
- Compatible with all ControlLogix and CompactLogix PLC’s supporting EtherNet/IP
- Easy to setup with Custom Add-On Profile with no programming required!
- Everything configured through Studio 5000, no 3rd party software or licenses needed
- Dynamically generates data structures in Studio 5000 with no required user logic
- Supports automatic generation of named and structured Studio 5000 controller tags
- Configuration backup in Studio 5000 project and Controller memory