IIoT Gateway Devices With Codesys – A Perfect Solution For Industry 4.0

The Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) is both the present and future of manufacturing.  Part of the Fourth Industrial Revolution or Industry 4.0, IIoT utilizes smart machines and real-time analysis.

IIoT is a network of intelligent devices that monitors, collects, exchanges, and analyzes data.  IIoT systems commonly consist of data communication capabilities (such as the Internet or private network), tools that allow the operator to interface with equipment, whether onsite or remotely, and intelligent systems that measure and store information.

The intelligent equipment sends information to the communications structure, where it is used to analyze the status or performance of a machine or entire factory.  The information helps manufacturers improve production, optimize the supply chain, and predict maintenance issues.

The next generation of Programmable Logic Controllers (PLCs) must have powerful peripheral connectivity to fulfill IIoT demands.  Responding to this trend, Weintek has integrated CODESYS and the IIoT Gateway into the cMT-CTRL01 IIoT Programmable Logic Controller. Today, the data in the device connected to the cMT- CTRL01 can be published to the IIoT system.

The cMT-CTRL01 features IIoT gateway protocol translation and EasyAccess remote access service.  This paper describes the challenges faced by OEMs and system integrators when choosing an automation control system in the IIoT architecture and how the cMT-CTRL01 meets those challenges.

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The CODESYS Group is the manufacturer of CODESYS (Controller Development System), the leading hardware-independent IEC 61131-3 automation software for developing and engineering controller applications.  The International Electrotechnical Committee’s IEC 61131-3 is the first real endeavor to standardize programming languages for industrial automation. IEC 61131-3 is the third part of the IEC 61131 family and is a specification of the syntax and semantics of a unified suite of programming languages, including the overall software model and a structuring language.

The third part provides the only global standard for industrial control programming.  It harmonizes the way people design and operates industrial controls by standardizing the programming interface.

A standard programming interface allows people with different backgrounds and skills to create different elements of a program during different stages of the software lifecycle: specification, design, implementation, testing, installation, and maintenance, yet all pieces adhere to a common structure and work together harmoniously.

IEC 61131-3 defines, as a minimum set, the basic programming elements, syntactic and semantic rules for the most used programming languages.  This includes the graphical languages Ladder Diagram (LD) and Functional Block Diagram (FBD), and the textual languages Instruction List (IL) and Structured Text (ST), as well as the Sequential Function Chart (SFC) language, used to structure the internal organization of a program.

Via decomposition into logical elements, modularization, and modern software techniques, each program is structured, increasing its reusability, reducing errors, and increasing programming and user efficiency.  In compliance with IEC 61131-3, Weintek’s cMT-CTRL01 supports multiple languages.

The CODESYS open standard works for programmable logic controller setup and provides adaptation to different system requirements and environments.  Features include data monitoring, scanning, tracing, and debugging.

It allows configuration of popular fieldbus systems, I/O modules, or drives (e.g., for Modbus TCP).  This makes CODESYS a valuable tool for the implementation of automation solutions. CODESYS is a globally established platform that is widely used.

End-users employ CODESYS for the successful creation of simple and sophisticated automation applications for industrial controllers that are used in factories, mobile machines, power, and building automation systems, as well as many other areas.

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Remote Access Made Easy

Traditionally, operators in remote locations could not remotely access HMIs and PLCs for troubleshooting, maintaining, or reconfiguring the machines because establishing communications was difficult. The cMT-CTRL01 offers IIoT Gateway protocol translation and EasyAccess remote access service.

EasyAccess 2.0, which is exclusively designed for Weintek’s products, provides remote access and enables operators to manage the cMT-CTRL01 from anywhere in the world.  With EasyAccess 2.0, it becomes straightforward to monitor and troubleshoot PLCs that are at a remote location if the Internet connection is available.

EasyAccess 2.0 already manages network settings and addresses security issues, so authorized users out of the plant can access machines as if they were on the local network. Users can update the cMT-CTRL01’s CODESYS project and monitor its operation status, thus reducing maintenance costs.

With EasyAccess 2.0 push notification, users receive immediate notification about the operation errors on their portable devices for quick troubleshooting. Most people have used instant messaging software such as Skype, Whatsapp, Line, or Wechat to instantly communicate with friends, wherever they are, online without asking for their IP addresses.

EasyAccess 2.0 is as easy to use as instant messaging software. There is no need to memorize the HMI’s IP address or spend time on router setup, complicated port mapping configuration, and detailed network layer investigation when encountering abnormal connections. Any abnormal situation of a cMT-CTRL01 can be instantly diagnosed.

Moreover, the EasyAccess 2.0 application and its web management system offer a secure communication mechanism — 128-bit SSL, a standard commonly used in online banking. This encryption mechanism protects data and ensures the reliability of data transmission. EasyAccess 2.0 uses a VPN, which establishes a virtual private tunnel over the public Internet to access the internal network securely.

Integrating Devices From Different Vendors

In EasyBuilder Pro software, the IIoT gateway supports the protocols used by more than 300 major brands of PLCs, making it possible to connect with a wide array of peripheral devices. The Codesys controller logic and the IIOT gateway can exchange data – data provided by www.systemdevices.co.uk.

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