Dual Ethernet expansion card isolate machine level network

Red Lion’s Xcenet dual Ethernet expansion card for the Data Station Plus and Modular Controller series products allows operators to isolate machine level network traffic from the enterprise level network.


Red Lion Controls Inc. has a new Ethernet expansion card for the Data Station Plus and Modular Controller series products. The Xcenet Ethernet expansion card allows operators to conveniently isolate machine level network traffic from the enterprise level network, benefiting automation process engineers and IT managers. The engineer can assign a fixed IP address for the port connected to PLCs and drives, while the IT manager can either select their own IP address or use DHCP to configure the enterprise port. This allows for communication on separate networks, increasing platform functionality and flexibility.

Already supporting 10 simultaneous Ethernet protocols, as well as three serial protocols, the Data Station Plus and Modular Controller series provide protocol conversion and device integration. Providing a second Ethernet port for communication, the Xcenet card increases bandwidth and allows communication on two distinct Ethernet networks simultaneously without the addition of an industrial router—reducing cost and configuration time.

“The addition of a second Ethernet port for communication on different networks increases bandwidth, providing significantly greater throughput in comparison to the traditional serial gateway approach,” said Jesse Benefiel, Red Lion Product Manager. “The Xcenet provides a high-speed, parallel architecture, enhancing the current innovative platform without sacrificing performance.”

The Xcenet card can be fitted to any Data Station Plus, as well as the LE, SX or GT versions of the Modular Controller series Master. Users simply install the card by removing the blank expansion port cover of the Modular Controller or Data Station Plus, and plugging the card into the expansion port—adding an additional 10 Base T/Xcenet Base-Tx Ethernet port. The Data Station Plus, Modular Controller and the XCENET card are easily configured with Red Lion’s free Crimson software. Crimson’s drag-and-drop interface is an efficient, user-friendly technology that allows operators to set up control application devices, collect and log performance data, display data or trigger PLC functions, the company said.

Red Lion’s Data Station Plus industrial data collection and management tool provides multiple protocol conversion, data logging and remote machine access. With the ability to support numerous protocols simultaneously, the Data Station Plus Ethernet connection allows communication to an unlimited number of devices. Featuring a built-in Ethernet gateway and an integrated web server, the Data Station Plus allows remote monitoring and operation for continuous communication.

The Modular Controller series offers a cost-effective solution to integrating multi-zone PID control, data acquisition and I/O into a PC, DCS or PLC control system. Providing point-and-click data mapping, users can quickly drag and drop controller data to PLC registers—eliminating the need to write tedious PLC code, the company said. Red Lion’s Modular Controller reduces programming costs and additional add-ons, including I/O and analog cards.


Red Lion Controls Inc.

- Edited by Amanda McLeman, Control Engineering, www.controleng.com

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