Anybus Communicator

7 September 2010

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 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 set up?

The ABC software is very user-friendly. You need to have a basic idea of the Modbus protocol and set up the commands and addresses of where you would like to read and write the information. The fieldbus translation is all done automatically. All you need to concern yourself with is the Modbus setup and if you need any help you are more than willing to ask us.


There are 2 versions that you can get. The first is the standard type, which is used for normal Modbus communication and simple serial communication. The second type is a Java unit for more advanced applications where programming the unit for uncommon/user-specific protocols/ languages is needed.


Recently a customer asked if the ABC would be able to communicate with his scale. The scale had its own custom ASCII (text is represented by numbers using an ASCII table, ie “M” = 77 decimal) language. The device didn’t require complex communication but they wanted to get this device to communicate on a Profibus network. I used a standard ABC and built the message structure (which you can do with the configuration software) according to the specifications given to me. In this case, they were using RS232 they usually connected to their computer and set the values using Hyperterminal, now this company can sell their unit to people who want to control the unit over Profibus and almost any other commercial fieldbus.

The ABC is a device that converts from Modbus (serial communication RS232/ RS422/ RS485) to any of the following fieldbusses: CANopen, CC-Link, ControlNet, DeviceNet, FIPIO, Interbus, Modbus Plus, Modbus-RTU, Profibus.

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