Use your old GEM80-400 PLC to control PROFIBUS devices

10 October 2011

We have recently designed a gateway for one of our clients that allows them to use their old GEM80-400 PLC to control PROFIBUS devices. Their upgrade procedure requires the old system to run in parallel with the new system so they needed a gateway that was completely transparent to the old GEM80-400 PLC. The gateway transparently connects the old technology with the new, allowing for the easy integration of modern technology.

Looking at the requirements that our clients had we realised that the system needed to be robust and versatile, allowing for the integration of a vast array of modern technologies. Leveraging the versatility of the converters and gateways already developed, we have built on the technology that is already tried and tested, and developing only what was not already available.

With current testing and design, we have developed a Modbus TCP driver which allows us to control most devices and connect to the majority of gateways already available. This allows for easy proof of concept allowing for the design of specific drivers if required.

Getting the GEM80-400 PLC protocol structure (StarNet HDLC operating at 180000bps over 4 wire RS485) translated into Modbus TCP has enabled us to provide upgrade strategies to our clients who have to approach their PLC and system upgrades incrementally, which previously was not possible.

 Examples of systems you can integrate with:

  • HDLC to EtherCAT
  • HDLC to Modbus TCP
  • HDLC to ControlNet
  • HDLC to DeviceNet
  • HDLC to ASi
  • HDLC to Ethernet/IP

We see the development of this device changing the way people perceive technology and re-evaluating the strategies they need to employ when upgrading their site infrastructure. Africa has a lot of legacy systems which inevitably will require upgrading. We believe we have created a system that makes that transition a whole lot easier.

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IDX Team

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The IDX team is a dynamic group of professionals dedicated to delivering cutting-edge industrial ICT solutions. With a focus on innovation, they leverage their expertise to streamline processes and drive efficiencies for your plant data.

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