How To Use Rockwell's New Ethernet/IP Capacity Tool


In today's article I'll show you how to use Rockwell's new Ethernet/IP Capacity Tool.

The replacement for Rockwell's discontinued Ethernet/IP Capacity Tool can now be found inside of Integrated Architecture Builder (IAB.)

Note: To learn how you can get a free copy of IAB, check out my previous article HERE.

To access the new tool, first create a new workspace inside of IAB.

Then select, “Ethernet/IP Capacity Subsystem,” as shown below:

After a few moments you should see the below screen:

The first step is to choose your Controller.

In this example I chose an L16:

After you select a Controller, if you put your mouse pointer over the question mark to the right side of your controller, you'll see a popup that lists your controller's specifications.

In the case of my controller, it shows the L16 only supports a total of four Ethernet Nodes:

Next, I add some I/O to the system by clicking on one of the “Select I/O” buttons:

Then I choose 1734 Point I/O, and enter a chassis count of two to indicate that I have two chassis with the same configuration.

Next I add the number of discrete and analog modules I intend to install, along with their RPIs, and then click on OK to add my I/O to the system:

Back in the main window I now click on “Compute” to calculate how much of my L16's “capacity” these two racks of Point IO use with the results are shown below:

In the next block I add three drops of Flex I/O, each with several digital and analog I/O modules.

Note: If you attempt to add more modules to a product than it supports, you'll see a red warning messages like the one shown below:

With my above errors corrected, I clicked on OK to close the I/O screen, and then clicked on the “Compute” button again.

Below you can see the results which show that I've exceeded my L16's max Ethernet Node count of 4:

After reducing my Flex I/O racks from three to two, I decided to add four PanelView Plus HMI's to the system, each with 1000 tags updating at 50ms:

When I recomputed the results, I found those four PanelView Plus's exceeded the L16's HMI “packets per second” (PPS) limit by a whopping 200%!

In an attempt to reduce the required HMI PPS, I changed the PanelView Plus update rate from 50ms to 100ms, and lowered the tag count to 800, both of which helped get my system under 100% utilization.

That said, there was very little bandwidth left, and I definitely wouldn't recommend designing a system with limits in the “yelllow” caution zone:

The last feature I want to show is accessed using the “Generate” button:

When you click it, IAB creates a project based on your configuration:

Note: While IAB does create each drop on the network, all the I/O modules used are the defaults, leaving it to the user to update them with the desired modules.

To watch a video of the above, check out Episode 52 of The Automation Minute Season Four below:

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Shawn Tierney
Automation Instructor and Blogger
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