Network Integration — Wireless products: With EZWiFi, the need for lugging programming cables or trying to access tight spaces are past headaches. EZWiFi conveniently connects any EZAutomation device with a serial port over WiFi. This is a Control Engineering 2017 Engineers’ Choice Awards Finalist.

October 13, 2016

Often times, when engineering or maintenance is initially setting up or making an update to an HMI/operator interface, PLC, or a marquee message display, it can sometimes be cumbersome to physically connect to the device. Perhaps the incorrect programming cable was ordered, or a mistake on pin-outs was made when creating an in-house cable, or the device is not easily accessible (i.e 20 ft in the air in the case of a marquee). Ethernet may be available in some plants, but this means the user will require access to the network which is often restricted by IT. With EZWifi, one no longer has to worry about connecting to the device even if in an inaccessible location. Simply install EZWiFi on the EZAutomation device, and directly from your computer connect over WiFi.

When designing EZWiFi, two concerns came up. Number one, most plant IT departments do not allow laptops access to the internal network. To overcome this, EZWiFi is equipped with two wireless modes: Infrastructure Mode, which connects any laptop to the device as long as they are on the internal network, and AdHoc, which does not require any access point or router and instead establishes its own to allow communication between EZWiFi and a PC, leaving IT happy.

The second concern was related to safety in that a third party could not randomly access the device when in AdHoc mode. Hence, each WiFi module is individually programmed with a unique SSID and password. These are also easily programmable through the respective EZAutomation software as long as the password to the project is known.

EZWiFi supports 802.11 b/g/n protocols. It is conveniently powered with either 24 Vdc or 2 AA batteries. Software Security formats include WPA/WPA2, with Encryption WEP/TKIP/AES. Network Protocols supported are IPv4, TCP/UDP/HTTP/FTP. EZWiFi is also FCC certified.