16 Jan 2013

Molex unveils SST Ethernet communication module

Molex has introduced a new firmware release of the SST Ethernet communication module.

The firmware update supports the Siemens Industrial Ethernet protocol to connect ControlLogix PLCs to Siemens SIMATIC† controllers (S5, S7-1200, S7-200, S7-300 and S7-400), SIMOTION motion controllers, RFID and barcode readers, SINAMICS variable frequency drives and SINUMERIK† CNC systems.

“SST communication modules are the fast and easy way to connect Modbus TCP and Siemens Industrial Ethernet to Allen-Bradley ControlLogix controllers,” states George Kairys, product manager, Molex. “When the ControlLogix processor is combined with an SST communications module, users receive a reliable and powerful communication network providing time and cost savings resulting from faster start-ups.”

The firmware update enables users to simultaneously manage communication in client and server modes to allow the module to read/write data and receive unsolicited data from Siemens controllers.

The protocol supports various process data types including: M, DB, A, E, T, Z with support up to 127 TCP connections. Molex configuration software allows easy CIP path generation for bridged or routed connections to remote SST Ethernet communication modules. Regardless of the location of the SST module in the network architecture, users can connect to the module remotely to a local or a remote chassis.

Additionally, the SST module can be configured and diagnosed via Ethernet using Rockwell Automation’s EtherNet/IP modules (1756-ENBT).

SST communication module firmware supports 32- and 64-bit platforms in Windows 7.

Enabling rapid implementation of control applications, SST communication modules include an add-on profile to interface seamlessly into the RSLogix* 5000 programming environment and directly share I/O process data with Logix processor memory, without writing any ladder logic or using PLC memory or increasing PLC scan time.

“Utilisation of flexible chipset technology provides a fully software configurable module – no need to set specific jumpers for specific physical layer configurations, no jumpers to lose, no jumpers to misconnect and no additional manuals required,” adds Kairys.

The SST Ethernet communication module includes an Ethernet port and two Serial ports for simultaneously running protocols, with the module serving as a standalone gateway between communication ports.

So, users can read data from a Serial Modbus slave and write to a Siemens S7-300 PLC via the industrial Ethernet port. This feature is enabled by the module’s internal data base of 32,000 word registers and 32,000 bits that can simultaneously share and exchange data with the ControlLogix processor.

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