Multi-protocol device server connects PLCs with serial equipment

DeviceMaster UP from Comtrol Corp. is reported to be the first device server designed to act as a "universal translator," enabling connectivity between any PLC and any serial device on the factory floor using Profinet, EtherNet/IP, or Modbus/TCP protocols.


DeviceMaster UP from Comtrol Corp . is reported to be the first device server designed to act as a "universal translator," enabling connectivity between any PLC and any serial device on the factory floor using Profinet, EtherNet/IP, or Modbus/TCP protocols. DeviceMaster UP consists of a network-attached, solid-state device server that hosts an industrial Ethernet engine, and translates device communications to PLC communications. Comtrol's new device server allows users to network-enable serial equipment, while delivering a reliable, low-cost connectivity platform.

"DeviceMaster UP enables fast, accurate collection of key data needed to keep the factory floor operating smoothly and efficiently," says Bradford Beale, VP of Comtrol's Industrial Connectivity division. "Critical data such as inventory levels, package weights, raw material levels, and billed projects can be accessed at the touch of a key, which leads to better, more timely decisions based on complete and accurately tracked information. Also, malfunctioning devices can be diagnosed and fixed more quickly."
DeviceMaster UP’s other highlights include:

  • Configurations to network-enable up to 32 serial devices per DeviceMaster unit, depending on protocol;

  • 10/100Base-T network connectivity with built-in switch providing a downstream port;

  • Application software compatibility with COM and TTY ports or TCP socket connections;

  • Watchdog software and reset circuitry;

  • Web browser-based configuration, monitoring, and management using PortVision;

  • Support for RS-232/422/485 communication modes (software-selectable); and

  • Proven technology, surge protection, and a stainless-steel housing for superior reliability.

In addition, Comtrol's PortVision serial port management software is included with every DeviceMaster purchase. PortVision software gives network administrators an easy-to-use, graphical, and convenient way to remotely configure, monitor, and manage devices from a centrally located personal computer. PortVision software detects and graphically displays every DeviceMaster server on the network. Network administrators can see real-time operating conditions of each device server at a glance.

—Jim Montague, news editor, Control Engineering,

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