Fieldbus to Cloud

Introduction

A typical field communication protocol with I/O devices, PLCs, database and HMI.

A fieldbus network connects many sensors, actuators and devices in the field to a control unit, typically a computer with a human machine interface (HMI). There are also programmable logical controllers (PLC) to manage time-critical features. Fieldbus systems are used for security, remote monitoring and remote control applications.

With the spread of the ubiquitous Internet and mobile devices, many site owners ask to connect their legacy device network to the cloud in order to improve operational processes. Manufacturers are also interested to adding cloud and mobile features to their legacy product in order to address new markets needs.

Below we describe how Alldonet helps manufacturers and site owners add cloud and mobile features to their legacy systems.

Connection to the Cloud

At the heart of field device networks are base units and devices. Devices connect directly to close-by sensors, take measures and make these measures available on the fieldbus. In their turn, base units collect data from all devices, execute some monitoring and control logic, and finally make the data available for displays to interact with operators.

A fieldbus base unit (black box) connected to two devices (white boxes).

Connection to the cloud takes place at the base unit level. How it is done depends on field and manufacturing constraints. Below we summarise the principal constraints and how we can address each of these.


Can the legacy system send data to the Internet?
Yes: We add a protocol adapter to AMON so it can understand legacy message formats. Connection is done via mail (SMTP), web requests (HTTP/HTTPS), and remote procedure calls (RPC).

Does the legacy system have a Web server where we can connect?
Yes: We configure AMON so it can connect with legacy Web server to fetch data and send commands. Connection is done via web requests (HTTP/HTTPS), and file transfers (FTP/FTPS).

Can we add a protocol bridge box in the field?
Yes: Alldonet provides a box to establish a communication bridge between the fieldbus and AMON. Connection is done via secure web requests (HTTPS).

Can manufacturer modify the field devices to send data to the Internet?
Yes: Alldonet train the manufacturer's team to use AMON API. From there on, the manufacturer 's team can easily connect their equipment to the cloud. Connection is done via secure web requests (HTTPS).

Actual Cases

At Alldonet we have the experience of connecting a variety of fieldbus to the cloud. Below is a list of actual use cases. Contact us to learn how we can connect your device network and product to the cloud.

MEWTOCOL / FP7 (Panasonic)
Vibration monitoring system HM-0013 (IMV)
Universal Line (Toyonaka Keisou)
Modbus, RS-485, 920MHz sub-giga, LoRa, BLE