Have you ever used or thought of using your HMI as a network monitoring tool?
What if your HMI system was used for more than just an operational tool? What if it can also help you, as a control system engineer, with system documentation, network troubleshooting and much more?
I have found great benefit in the integrated nature of modern control systems. Rockwell has built on the Cisco operating system within their Stratix model switches.
While the Stratix switch configures the same as any other Cisco switch, its integration capabilities make it a nice choice to use in a ControlLogix configuration.
I have found many instances in which I was able to obtain needed documentation or troubleshoot a network issue in seconds without ever having to open an SSH session or drag a laptop with a console cable to a network switch to connect to it.ControlLogix:
1) Run the global command: “macro global trace ab-global $cip_vlan 1” in your stratix switch. (NOTE: Substitute vlan 1 for the actual vlan your switch is configured for)
2) Run the following commands: “service-policy input CIP-PTP-Traffic” and “alarm profile ab-alarm” on each Switch Port that you will get CIP traffic from.
3) Reference Rockwell Tech Note 732114 (requires support contract – ed.)
Integrating your Stratix Switch to ControlLogix:
4) First, you will need to download the needed AOP (Add-On Profile) from Rockwell for your Logix Designer system. Reference Tech Note: 504868 for more information on downloading the 1783EtherNet Switch AOP.
5) After downloading and installing the needed AOP files, you will need to reboot your PC. You should now be able to add a Stratix switch into your Logix Designer Project.
6) In the logix Designer application, In the I/O Tree, right-click and select “New Module” and follow the prompts to add the correct model of Stratix Switch that you are using.
7) After creating the module, view the module defined tags in your controller tag database:
You will now be able to monitor important switch information via your HMI system.
The following is a simple illustration, but with a little imagination, this can get as informative and valuable as you envision it to be:
If you are looking to create dynamic data, documentation and troubleshooting tools in your control system, a great way to start is by using the integration tools that are available to you.
Though these tools are known, they are often overlooked and left without implementation. Go that extra step and make troubleshooting simple when you need it down the road.
The only limit to this kind of opportunity is our imaginations.
Written by Brandon Cooper
Senior Controls Engineer and Freelance Writer
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