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Old June 15th, 2018, 02:43 PM   #1
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Too many options for Contrologix to Modbus... which one?

The background is that the current data path using OPC to OPC communication is not reliable so I'm trying a more robust solution. I don't have a count of the tags yet but it's quite a lot, a few hundred I think.
Data path will be one way only, Contrologix-> Gateway -> Modbus(TCP or RTU)

Looking over my options list here, looking for some feedbacks.

-RTA, I used them before and I like the easy setup. However, it's limited to 5 PLCs and I rather not have multiple gateways to manage.

-ProSoft, also limited to 5 PLC. However, doesn't see to be a limit if the gateway is configured as a E/IP client/scanner. One downside is the limitation to PLC5 style addressing so I got do some mapping on the PLC.

-Anybus, (AB7669) I dealt with one a few years ago and it seemed very similar to Prosoft. Which is to say, a bit cryptic in getting it working.

-RedLion Datastation, this is one option that I just thought of. I viewed some video and it seems very easy to setup on par with RTA.

Seems like the RedLion is the easiest to use and fulfill the requirement but I just want to get a sanity check before proceeding. Thanks,
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Old June 15th, 2018, 02:51 PM   #2
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I like the Red Lion Solution. Easy to set up and use. If I dont have a Red Lion HMI on the project I would use the Data Station.
I have used the Prosoft Modbus TCP/IP unit and it works ok but like you said it is a bit of a pain to get going.
There is never enough money to do it right but there is always enough money to do it again.
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Old June 15th, 2018, 04:21 PM   #3
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what video did you watch about the RedLion Datastation setup?
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Old June 15th, 2018, 04:23 PM   #4
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Have used this one, very easy to setup and works great.
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Please Download from our download section "Monitor and Control" .pdf.
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Old June 15th, 2018, 05:19 PM   #5

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I used a digi one IAP for three different control logix PLCs reading 5 or 6 different modbus slaves. works well
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Old June 15th, 2018, 05:33 PM   #6
Ken Roach
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So what's the Modbus RTU/TCP client ? A supervisory SCADA system ?

When you say that OPC to OPC is unreliable.... do you mean OPC Server and OPC Client, or do you mean some kind of OPC Mirror moving data from controller to controller ?

If 5 Controllers isn't enough... how many do you need to support ?

Will you have to modify or maintain the data map for each controller independently ? Using a central data aggregator means you have to reboot or reconfigure it every time you want to change one of the participants; can your process handle that ?

I do like chassis-mounted Prosoft modules for reliability and performance, but prefer Red Lion and RTA for ease-of-use. HMS is my choice for limited functionality and low price installations.
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Old June 15th, 2018, 05:40 PM   #7
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Thanks, the Anybus Linking device seems like their next generation of gateway but I rather have the gateway being the EIP Scanner and Modbus Server instead of the other way around. I just prefer to see what data is coming from.

I tried to look up the Digi One IAP but can't find much info on how to config them.

VON, I think we had this discussion before. There's no good E/IP - DNP gateway. I had a conversation with SEL on the future of RTAC and it doesn't seem they will provide E/IP support but is considering OPC UA.

FYI, RTAC is a muli-protocol gateway widely used in the Power industry.
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Old June 15th, 2018, 05:53 PM   #8
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Hi Ken, how's it going, RA ain't the same without you

I think about 10 PLCs... less than 100 tags from each.

I skipped over some of the background detail. The long story is that this is only part of the data path. The end to end is PLC to our SCADA platform which is DNP3 (protocol). The current setup, as designed by the original vendor is using an industrial PC running a protocol concentration program (SubNet Solution) but it doesn't do Ethernet/IP but does do OPC server and client. So at first they tried adding Kepware to talk to the OPC client but there are some weird issue so they added Kepware Linkmaster. This setup works most of the time... but breaks at time with no good diagnostics information. Now, after living with this issue for a while (I mean a long while). The pain level is high enough that they have asked me to look at options. Once I can get the PLC data in a reliable way into the concentrator, which it does modbus and tons of other protocol with ease, then everything should be peachy..

This data concentrator is doing a lot beside this so I'm trying not to break anything.

Btw, the return path from the SCADA is through the OPC Client to Kepware to PLC which have no issues, ever. So i"m not going to touch that.

eta: losing SCADA temporarily isn't a huge deal as long I have an operator onsite.

Last edited by harryting; June 15th, 2018 at 05:55 PM.
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Old June 15th, 2018, 07:22 PM   #9
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The only one I am familiar with is the Prosoft Modbus module for the CLX platform (MVI56-MCM). I find the setup a little complicated, but they seem to be reliable and it moves quite a bit of data.
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Old June 15th, 2018, 08:39 PM   #10
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I like the red lion, the prosoft, while it works well once it is setup, is just overly complicated for something that should be really simple. Luckily Prosoft has good support.
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