Showing posts from 2010

We Need Your Help!

Due to the fact that we are mainly left brain thinkers at IDX (what else can you expect from a bunch of electrical and IT engineers) we are having a slight dilemma finding a name for our new solution. Currently it got the name “IDX Brick” but we think it needs a lot more pizzazz. Hence this request for help... Basic the IDX Brick consist of our Industrial Data Xchange (IDX) software running on an embedded platform happily translating data from an OPC Server to the site’s PROFIBUS network. Pretty neat! So we would like to extend the invitation to you for you to submit a name that we can label this device with. Please add your comments to the end of this blog.

IDX successfully hosts its first Anybus breakfast

IDX recently hosted our first breakfast targeted at the upcoming range of Anybus products available as well as some of current products that are offered by HMS. Kristina Johansson (Area Sales Manager) and Henrik Arleving (NetBiter Product Manager) from HMS (in Sweden) spent a week with us and enjoyed the good and the bad of South Africa (only bad were taxis). It was with the greatest of pleasure for us to have them and enjoy their stories about Sweden(and there were a lot of them) which they are very proud of! Probably the most popular topic, of the breakfast, was the remote communication interface devices. The NetBiter module allows you to read analogs/digitals or even Modbus messages into the unit and the information is sent via a GSM/GPRS modem to the server where the information is stored and can be displayed using a very user friendly web interface. ( click here for more info ). We would like to thank everyone for their support and we look forward to more of these events in th

Anybus Communicator

So what is it? The ABC (Anybus Communicator) is a device that translates from serial communication to different fieldbus languages. By default, it is a Modbus master on one end and converts this serial communication to one of the numerous fieldbus options (Profibus, DeviceNet, ControlNet,...etc) How does it work? Very simply, the Modbus master requests information from the slave/s that it is connected to and stores that information in its own memory area. That memory area can then be read from the fieldbus in its native language. I.E. Profibus will be able to read the data in the format that it understands. The same applies when the fieldbus writes data to the ABC, the information is stored in a memory area and the Modbus master will then take that information and send it to the Modbus slave. Is it easy to setup? The ABC software is very user friendly. You need to have a basic idea of the Modbus protocol and setup the commands and addresses of where you would like to read and write

IDX introduces OPC to Profibus (Profibus to OPC ) device

So I have been bugged by my colleagues to get this post out into the world. Now as an engineer the last thing on my to-do list (as most engineers) is documentation and I'll be honest, blogging wasn’t even on my list, so this is a big step for me... I trust and hope that it will answer some of your questions, and even present a possible solution to some of the problems you may have. (Although I also realise the success of this blog is coupled to the frequency of future blogs I may be forced to write...) Anyway at IDX we excel at solving problems, and we were faced with a problem which begged our attention. Long story short we created a product that exposes your required OPC tags onto your Profibus Network as a Profibus Slave, or vice versa if you like (Profibus to OPC). (Now I would like to end my blogging career right here, but I know if I don’t give more details I will just have to edit this later... so I will continue. ) The Background We were approached by Sandvik South Af

OPC End User Training course in South Africa

IDX now has a 1 day End user training course for the end user who wants to become competent in OPC. The course starts by covering the basics of OPC, then moves on to the details of the different types of OPC, how they differ, how to use them and where they fit in on the plant. There is also a practical section where the users are taught about security and how to set up the dreaded DCOM. After this course, DCOM will become child's play. The user is left empowered with the knowledge of OPC in it's entirety. Contact idxonline for more information on these and other courses.

New Embedded Solutions

IDX provides unique embedded communications and remote monitoring solutions that solve unique industrial communications problems where a complete, drop in solution is required. These embedded solutions make use of the ever increasing processing power available in a small, industrially rated hardware footprint and Windows Embedded operating systems. For remote monitoring or alarm/event notification, IDX makes use of hardware purpose built for vehicular remote monitoring with integrated SIM card and unique features such as vehicle ignition state detection and delayed shutdown capabilities. An example application of IDX remote monitoring solutions is the IDX RM (remote monitoring) system developed for Pilot Crushtec, for monitoring mobile rock crushers. The RM units are mounted on the crushers, and collect crusher control system data, from the onboard PLC (MODBUS RTU) and also the crusher’s engine (J1939 CANbus). All data is logged on the RM unit and ultimately transmitted, via GPRS or 3G


For most of us there was a stage in our lives, while growing up, that we went through, that involved us being the doctor and one of our friends being a deathly sick patient. Although we as juvenile doctors had very little experience and what I mean by very little is nothing at all! Usually we would prod and poke our "patients", and after sometime, they would bounce back to life and we would all proceed to go and play in the sun. Much of what I have seen with PROFIBUS problems can be compared to our “doctor! doctor!” days. Lets run through a short case study...a problem occurs onsite..."THE NETWORK HAS DIED", what follows is an assault of prodding and poking until miraculously the network is up and running leaving all involved feeling exhilarated over a job well done but not really knowing what was done to fixed it. Here are some practical tips on how to help solve your problem and hopefully leaves you feeling a little bit less like you are alone in the dark: The