Looking for some help.
We have an older LinkNET system that integrates with a bunch of different machines. They are using OmniLink controllers to pull data from the machines and it’s being captured by a PC running the LinkNET software. I’d like Ignition to capture this data, rather than LinkNET. The interface is serial based.
Does anyone have experience with this or know if it can be done? It seems to me that we could purchase something to capture that serial data and convert it to Ethernet so Ignition can see it
I’ve used Moxa gateways to connect serial devices to Ethernet, for direct access from Ignition. That part is relatively easy. The hard part is handling the serial protocol. If not too complicated, a background thread can be used to read and parse the content from the device, distributing it to tags or via messages. For more complex cases, an OPC driver makes more sense. Do you have good documentation of the serial protocol?
Yes, I do have documentation on old LinkNET system but I’m not sure how detailed it gets on the protocol itself. It has a bunch of information on how to wire the serial connection and how to wire everything together.
What exactly would I be looking for?
The protocol itself. Enough information to isolate and decode the messages coming in, and construct valid messages to go out.
I don’t think I have that level of detail but I could ask the vendor for it perhaps. I should ask for the serial protocol information so we can isolate and decode the messages coming in, and construct valid messages to go out. Hopefully they know what that means.
Without that information, we would have trouble capturing this data in Ignition?
I would have trouble capturing the data without that information.
I asked the vendor for some additional information and the response was that the serial communication is proprietary to their software.
But they also added that they can enable MODBUS TCP on the controllers for external communication to other systems!
If we can enable MODBUS TCP, I’m assuming Ignition can work with this?
Yes, Ignition has a Modbus TCP driver.
Appreciate the help everyone! We will enable MODBUS TCP on our existing controllers and start capturing some machine data