Online Ethernet Configuration

PUBLISHED ON Feb 24, 2014

Adding a new 8000 Series I/O drop or adding modules to an existing rack? Want to communicate with a new PLC in the plant or expand the amount of data transferred between the D/3 and a PLC?

With changes made in v14.1, it is no longer necessary to reload PCMs to add or modify Ethernet communications. The EMPC2 communications card provides the ability to communicate with I/O and PLCs via Ethernet but the interface has to be configured in the PCM. Before V14.1, this required a PCM reload. A reload is possible but somewhat cumbersome to do with redundant PCMs without interrupting process operations. In facilities without redundant PCMs, it is much more difficult because it requires planning to allow the brief interruption that comes with a PCM reload. With Online EthConfig, this scenario is easily managed with or without redundant PCMs.Online Ethernet Configuration (EthConfig) increases the flexibility of PCM Ethernet communications and simplifies the process of adding 8000 Series I/O to the system.

EthConfig now includes the ability to make Ethernet communications changes online. Modifying PLC IP addresses, adding new PLCs or EBIMs, or adding PLC registers and 8000 Series I/O modules can all be accomplished while the PCM is running. Online changes are made in the PCMs (single or redundant) and saved to the CDCM. Offline mode allows configuration changes to be made to only the CDCM configuration for future PCM loads. A synchronize option uploads the active PCM configuration to the CDCM.

For those who prefer editing an input file to add new nodes and modules, v14.1 brings the ability to import/export configurations in .xml format. The .xml file can be edited using cut and paste to add multiple similar nodes and modules and then imported to generate a configuration in offline mode.

Several features were added to simplify Ethernet I/O configuration. When adding an EBIM, node data blocks are automatically created. When adding analog modules with the Hart option selected, Hart data is automatically configured. In offline mode, multiple modules can be added at the same time to fill making it faster to define a series of modules. For PLC communications, improved error checking validates arrays as they are defined.

EthConfig

Adding a module with Hart data in Online Edit Mode