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Video - EtherNet/IP Adapter

Video Transcript:

In this video we’ll setup a Productivity 3000 as an Adapter – this guy from the Overview video - so other hardware can act as a Scanner and get periodic updates from us as an implicit background task.

The Productivity Series Controllers are incredibly flexible when used as adapters – you can set them up with up to four data blocks, with each containing input and output data arrays.  Remember: “Input” is the data requested as input to the scanner, output is data output from the scanner to us. The point of view is always from the device that initiates the conversation – input to him, output from him.

Launch the software and make sure you are using version or later to get the Ethernet/IP functionality.  Also, make sure you have the latest firmware for the controller. I’m using version so yours should be at least that. And I have to warn you – if you call support the first question they are going to ask is what software and firmware are you using – so save yourself some time and go ahead and update those to the most current versions.

So we have the latest software, the latest Firmware, we’re connected to the hardware which we have already auto detected and configured.  All we have to do now is configure the Adapter – and that’s the easy part! Here we go …

To setup the Ethernet/IP adapter, we can either go to Setup, Comm Adapter Configuration, Ethernet/IP Adapter, OR my preference – I just come over here to the setup tree, expand the hardware adapter branch, and there it is,  Ethernet/IP Adapter. Double click on that.
That brings up a dialog that looks like this. We enable the Adapter by checking this check box right here.

We select the number of data blocks we want, most of the time you will only need one so we’ll leave it that. If you need more, you just change the value and you get more tabs down here in the dialog. Again, we’ll stick with one for this example.

You can enable either the Input data block or the output data block or both.  Let’s enable the Input Data – remember, that’s the data that the scanner will be reading from us as input to itself.

Here we enter the data array we want to give the scanner access to. I haven’t defined mine yet, so let’s pretend this Productivity 3000 is running an eight lane candy bar wrapping machine and we want to monitor the quantities rejected on each lane. So I’ll call it “Lane Rejects.” 

Now as soon as I try to do anything like click down here, I get a dialog like this. The software says – wait a minute – you haven’t defined that array yet, and it gives me a chance to do so. I love that I don’t have to pre-define all my arrays – I can just make them up as I need them.  Let’s select an unsigned 8 bit array – and while we only need 8 bytes of data – one for each lane - I may expand this in the future, so I’m gonna set this up with the ability to handle .. oh I don’t know – how about 32 lanes which is 32 columns of this 1D array.
Great.  My 32 lane data array is defined. Well, guess what?  Down here in this box I can limit how much of that data is exposed to the scanner.

I only have 8 lanes running today, so I’m just gonna put an 8 there. That will limit the amount of data that is sent back to the scanner to just those 8 bytes. You can see that here. The message size will be 8 bytes going back to the scanner.

These guys over here are automatically generated so you don’t have to worry about filling them in, BUT, you DO want to make note of them because it’s these four items that you’ll need to setup the scanner. The Scanner video configures a Scanner to talk to this adapter, so you can see how this all fits together. For now, just know that this is key information so keep it handy.

Well, that’s it.  We’re done.  As soon as we transfer this program to the Productivity 3000, scanners will be able to connect with us and start getting periodic updates at the rate they request. 

And remember - This runs completely in the background, so we just forget about it.  All our program has to do is maintain that array of data – the Productivity 3000 takes care of pushing that data out to the scanner for us at the rate it requested. For example: If we were to simply open a Dataview and put some data in that array, any connected Scanner would see it immediately.  How about that?

Now, suppose we wanted to create a data array that the scanner can write to, to configure the lanes this adapter is controlling? Well, it’s the exact same thing. We just click on this guy, assign an array – we’ll call that Lane-Config, setup the data array – we’ll use 8 bit unsigned integers and we need 8 of those - we tell it how many elements we want to accept – we’ll accept all 8.  That’s all there is to setting up an array the scanner can write to.

Once again, these numbers are really important – they’re the numbers the Scanner is going to need to setup the output channel it will use to talk to this adapter and configure the lanes of our candy bar machine. So keep those handy too!
Here’s a hint – suppose the candy bar lanes are not as efficient as we hoped and an 8 bit unsigned integer isn’t big enough to handle all of our candy bar rejects?  How do we fix that? 

That’s one of the cool things about the Productivity Series Controllers – While this dialog is up, I can come over here and click on my TAG database, bring him up, filter on that variable name, which we know as name something or another – here it is – Lane Rejects – and we change it! Let’s bump it up to a 16 bit unsigned integer and close out the TAG Database.

Let’s come back here and re-load that guy to make sure to make sure he gets it. And sure enough we’re looking at a 16 bit array and notice that while I have 8 elements exposed now the message is 16 bytes , right?  Because there’s two bytes per element. That’s exactly what we expect. Perfect.

So setting up the Productivity 3000 as an adapter couldn’t be easier.  You just enable the feature, fill in the blanks and you are done.  That data is now exposed to any scanner that wants to connect to us.

Normally, that will be your existing controller network monitoring the Productivity 3000 to keep an eye on how things are going – in our case, it old be how the candy bar wrapping machine is going.

There’s another video that shows you how to setup the Productivity 3000 as a Scanner. In that video we actually connect to this Adapter and we’ll see how hassle free it is to use the Productivity 3000 to share data using this implicit communication method of the EtherNet/IP standard.

If you need help, contact AutomationDirect’s FREE award winning tech support during regular business hours – they will be happy to help you. And check out the forums – there are lots of folks there that love to share their years of experience.  Just don’t post any questions directed at AutomationDirect’s support team there – they may not see them.

Performance Plus Value – That’s Productivity.  From Automation Direct.