Simply Select the Right Protocol Gateway
In order to integrate heterogeneous systems, it’s important to identify the communication protocols and the relationship between two entities (e.g., master-slave, scanner-adapter, etc.) for selecting a protocol conversion gateway.
First, determine the main industrial Ethernet protocol your system uses. Nowadays, modern systems are Ethernet based, and the most commonly seen industrial network protocols are Modbus TCP, EtherNet/IP, and PROFINET.
Second, identify the protocol your device uses. A variety of industrial protocols, such as Modbus RTU/ASCII, PROFIBUS, DNP3, etc., are used in different devices. Some devices are serial based while others are Ethernet based; both types of devices need to be connected to your industrial Ethernet-based system.
Third, clarify the relationship between the two entities in your communication system. For example, let’s take a look at a PLC and a variable frequency drive (VFD), as both use different protocols. In order for them to communicate, you need a protocol gateway to convert communications between the PLC, operating as the master, and the VFD, acting as the slave. It’s important for engineers to clarify the role for the two entities in their systems.