Connectivity: Modules simplify connection of 50 controller brands to Rockwell Automation PACs

Additional module enables Messaging Services for enterprise connectivity



Online Development Inc (, maker of the embedded computing and communications appliance xCoupler, has introduced new modules simplify connection of more than 50 controller brands to Rockwell Automation ControlLogix programmable automation controllers (PACs). An additional module enables Messaging Services for connectivity between enterprise and ControlLogix systems.

"We call our products‘appliances' because the user never sees the operating system or has to worry about things like Microsoft Windows updates," explained Mark Knebusch, vice president of business development for Online Development. "They automatically map to Rockwell Automation ControlLogix tags, and understand all tags in multiple generations of Allen-Bradley PLCs."

The "locked down" modules, which plug into the backplane to facilitate high-speed communications, can be used to connect ControlLogix PACs to legacy Allen-Bradley controllers, other vendors' controllers, and enterprise systems. At the enterprise layer, the new eATM tManager EI module provides an alternative to OPC driver/server connectivity models in the form of Java Messaging Services (JMS) connection technologies.

"In this new enterprise appliance, we've done all the code writing. Instead of [communications] requiring reads and writes between controllers, now there's a message-oriented means of integration between the plant floor and the enterprise," said Knebusch.

eATM tManager EI It installs in a ControlLogix PAC or in a panel to accomplish data exchanges. It simplifies configuration of data exchanges, without programming, and comes with various adapters to facilitate bidirectional data exchange. These include:
- Messaging adapters for: IBM WAS JMS, Red Hat JBoss JMS, JBoss Community JMS and IBM WMQ;
- Communications adapters for: TCP/IP Sockets, UDP Sockets, FTP and email (SMTP and POP3);
- Message formats: XML and ASCII, fixed-length and comma delimited;
- Automation adapters for Rockwell Automation CIP via ControlLogix backplane, Rockwell Automation CIP via EtherNet/IP, Siemens Industrial Ethernet and Modbus TCP.

Online Development's Controller Appliance Transaction Modules (cATMs) enable connectivity to many brands and types of PLCs/PACs and DCS. The cATM Universal Gateway is a self-contained module for Rockwell Automation ControlLogix PACs that includes hardware, software and over 100 drivers for various controllers, devices and protocols. All drivers are supplied with the module at no additional charge. cATM Universal Gateway eliminates the need for custom programmed data bridges. After the module is configured, it automatically and transparently exchanges data between controllers with no control program changes. Connections to other controllers or devices such as analyzers, bar code readers, weigh scales, RFID systems, serial printers, etc. are made via the module's serial or Ethernet ports.

Separately, new cATM-BLY90 appliance transaction modules make it easier to migrate legacy ABB Bailey Infi 90 or Network 90 DCS (Distributed Control System) systems to ControlLogix PACs. Once Bailey Infi 90 or Network 90 system data is available within a ControlLogix PAC, Rockwell Automation applications such as FactoryTalk View SE can be used for visualization of the data, alarming, and other functions.

A complete list of drivers for the cATM Universal Gateway is available on the company's web site, . Products will also be on diplay at Rockwell Automation's Automation Fair user conference held at the Anaheim (California) Convention Center on November 11 and 12, 2009.

- Edited by Renee Robbins, senior editor
Control Engineering News Desk

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