Rockwell Automation expands Web capabilities for PLC-5

Mayfield Heights, O. - Users of the Allen-Bradley PLC-5 product line can now more easily view, access, and manage process data, as a result of new Web browser interface capabilities announced by Rockwell Automation.

By Control Engineering Staff April 23, 2002

Mayfield Heights, O. – Users of the Allen-Bradley PLC-5 product line can now more easily view, access, and manage process data, as a result of new Web browser interface capabilities announced by Rockwell Automation . Enhancements to the Allen-Bradley Ethernet PLC-5 controller line provide a built-in, HTML-based human machine interface (HMI) for monitoring production and machine status via Microsoft Internet Explorer or any other Web browser.

“These enhancements simplify process tracking and information access by allowing users to monitor PLC-5 data via a Web browser, without having to create a Web page,” said Rick Sykora, product manager, Rockwell Automation. “Rockwell Automation continues to support the PLC-5 product line and evolve the product to meet a wide variety of applications. These new capabilities are a reflection of what the industry is demanding to work effectively with today’s expanding Web-based technologies.”

Beyond the addition of the built-in Web pages, custom web pages are now an option. Web User Provided Pages (WUPP) and Web Custom Data Monitor pages allow users to create custom Web pages to provide executive summaries of process information. These pages are then accessible to any Internet user who has network access to that particular PLC-5 processor.

The addition of a Web page download feature in Rockwell Software RSLogix 5 Version 5.2 allows users to load custom Web pages into the PLC-5. Since large Web pages require more memory than may be available in the PLC-5, the Domain Name Service (DNS) client is included in this product update. DNS allows Web page developers to reference graphic images and other information using the host name of the computer where the information is stored. DNS also allows Ethernet message instructions to reference other computers and controllers by name (rather than by a numeric IP address).

When asked whether this product is in violation of patents held by Schneider Electric regarding Web technologies and PLCs, or whether Rockwell feels the patents are not applicable, or whether Rockwell paid a license fee to Schneider, Rockwell responded, “No comment.”

Control Engineering Daily News Desk
Gary A. Mintchell, senior editor
gmintchell@cahners.com