Flexible Plant Modernization with Serial Gateways

May 4, 2020

Serial gateways for connecting serial devices to modern Ethernet networks

From barcode scanners, RFID read/write heads, and vision systems to weighing scales: devices with serial interfaces are still used in many applications. At the same time, there is a shift toward modern Ethernet-based fieldbus systems such as PROFINET and EtherNet/IP. This means users are faced with the challenge of harmonizing their systems. To avoid having to replace all serial devices at once and to retain proven solutions, systems can be retrofitted with serial gateways (DeviceMaster®). This enables modernization while ensuring long-term investment security.

Reliable Connection to Ethernet-Based Systems

Pepperl+Fuchs serial gateways combine the serial communication protocols RS-232, RS-422, and RS-485 in one gateway. This means that almost all serial devices on the market can be flexibly connected to the serial gateways. This is possible due to adjustable serial communication parameters, including baud rate, parity, and separators, via the integrated web server or the PortVision® DX software. The detection and management software developed by Pepperl+Fuchs Comtrol allows device configurations to be cloned and simplifies Ethernet device commissioning. Serial data packages can be easily viewed at any time via the web server.  

Extensive Configuration Options for A Wide Variety of Applications

All port settings can be adjusted, so several types of serial devices can be connected to the serial gateways at the same time. The gateways are available in different versions with varying quantities of ports and connections (screw terminals, DB9, or RJ45). Depending on the device type, the protocols MODBUS, PROFINET, EtherNet/IP, TCP/IP, EtherNet/IP-to-MODBUS, and PROFINET-to-MODBUS are supported. Windows® or Linux drivers are also available for TCP/IP devices, which means serial devices can be easily connected to computer-based systems. Gateways with EtherNet/IP-to-MODBUS and PROFINET-to-MODBUS protocols enable bidirectional communication between EtherNet/IP or PROFINET controllers and MODBUS devices. By integrating proven devices into modern Ethernet-based fieldbus systems, communication networks that vary in complexity can be established.

Highlights of the Serial Gateways (DeviceMaster)

  • Connection of serial devices to modern Ethernet networks
  • Adjustable port settings allow connection of several serial devices
  • Different device types enable the establishment of communication networks of varying complexity
  • Long-term investment security since proven serial devices can still be used

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