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How to communicate with Allen-Bradley PLCs from InduSoft Web Studio

As a follow up to yesterday’s topic, “How to Link InduSoft Web Studio to RSLinx”, we’ve included a bit more information about how InduSoft Web Studio communicates with Allen-Bradley PLCs.

InduSoft Web Studio provides native drivers that communicate directly with Allen-Bradley PLCs, and every other major manufacturer of PLC. The following table illustrates the drivers available for each AB PLC family and protocol:

Driver Protocol Interface Physical Adapter PLC2 PLC5 SLC5xx CompactLogix MicroLogix ControLogix FlexLogix
ABENI EthernetIP/DF1 Ethernet (TCP/IP) AB-1761-NET-ENI Gateway x x x
ABCIP EthernetIP/CIP Ethernet (TCP/IP) X x(*) x x
ABKE DF1 Serial (RS232/485) x x x x
ABTCP DF1 Ethernet (TCP/IP) x x x
CNS ControlNet Proprietary Hilscher  SMS-CIF104-CNS x x
DEVN DeviceNet Proprietary Hilscher  SMS-ABDT-DNS x
SSTDH DH/DH+ Proprietary SST 5136-SD-104 or SST-DHP-PC x x x
STRIO RIO Proprietary SST 5136-SD-104 x x

(*) 1100, 1400 series

PLCs that provide an Ethernet interface will support either the DF1 protocol (PLC2, PLC5, SLC5xx families) implemented by the ABTCP driver, or the EthernetIP/CIP protocol (CompactLogix, MicroLogix, ControLogix, or FlexLogix families) implemented by the ABCIP driver.

PLCs that provide a RS232 serial interface will support the DF1 protocol (PLC2, PLC5, SLC5xx, MicroLogix families) implemented by the ABKE driver. In some architectures, it uses an Ethernet to Serial gateway (AB-1761-ENI) Gateway to connect the PLCs (PLC2, PLC5, SLC5xx families) to the InduSoft Web Studio station. In this case, the ABENI driver can communicate with the PLCs through the gateway.

PLCs that support protocols with proprietary physical layers (ControlNet, DeviceNet, DH, DH+, RIO) require the installation of a physical adapter (board) in the same computer where InduSoft Web Studio is running. Most protocols are mostly used in control networks (among PLCs) and most of them are considered legacy. However, shall you need to communicate with Allen-Bradley PLCs through these networks, InduSoft Web Studio provides communication interfaces for these protocols as illustrated in the previous table.

In addition to the native drivers, which are installed along with InduSoft Web Studio, you can also communicate with Allen-Bradley PLCs through the Rockwell’s RSLinx OPC Server linked to the native OPC DA Client from InduSoft Web Studio. For more information on that, please refer to our previous post, “How to Link InduSoft Web Studio with RSLinx.”

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