Posts

Showing posts from November, 2013

Certified PROFINET Training in South Africa and migrating from PROFIBUS to PROFINET

Image
The popularity of PROFINET is growing in South Africa and so too is the requirement for training. One interesting topic is the migration from PROFIBUS to PROFINET. It is not realistic to expect a site to one day stop its production (on PROFIBUS), buy new PROFINET equipment and start up production again. The cost of the new equipment is a factor for sure, but the real cost is having a plant standing while an upgrade is happening. This topic is briefly covered in the Certified PROFINET Engineers Course run by the IDX Academy in Johannesburg under the Proxies Section. It is the only Certified PROFINET Course offered in South Africa and Africa as a whole. The course is accredited with ECSA and earns you 3 CPD points for attending. 

The Proxies Section of the course shows different ways of interfacing between different network protocols. One of the most common conversions would be converting between PROFIBUS and PROFINET, but it can also be a conversion between other fieldbuses such as MODB…

Serial to Ethernet Converter (RS-232 / RS-485 to LAN)

Image
What happened to the serial port on my laptop? Indeed it seems that our PCs are upgrading faster than the industrial devices we still use. Being an Industrial IT company, on a daily basis we still have to use HyperTerminal and other serial based software to configure devices and get information out of systems such as belt scales and gateways.  
So what if I need to get a device that speaks serial onto an industrial Ethernet based protocol such as PROFINET, MODBUS TCP, EtherCat or Ethernet/IP? Well for that we can use the Anybus Communicator, which we have spoken about before. That is a protocol converter. Incidentally, this device is easily configured using a serial port, but for that I need to have a serial port on my PC. (The new generations of these gateways are moving to USB, but what about all those thousands that are in the field already?)
One solution is too buy a USB to Serial Converter, but anyone that has used one of these will most likely agree that they can be quite trouble…

PROFIBUS Testers / Troubleshooting Kits

Image
We at IDX run the only PROFIBUS competence and training centre in Africa, and also develop solutions that get legacy and other non-PROFIBUS systems to talk PROFIBUS. ProfiTrace is our go-to tool before we do any testing. It guarantees that our PROFIBUS network is up and running and if it is not, it helps us to quickly diagnose any errors on the network. This saves us valuable development time because it means that we know that once we’ve tested our PROFIBUS network with ProfiTrace, then we can focus my time on other areas of the system. We do a lot of training and site visits and we have NEVER had to send one of our ProfiCores in for repairs. Despite all the hands that our units go though, the ProfiCores just keep working. This is a true testament to the reliability of the unit and the quality engineering that has gone into building it.
The software is easy to use and PROCENTEC keep introducing new features (for free!) which makes it even more user-friendly. The live list and statisti…