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X-Gateway Uses Dual Port Ethernet

X-Gateway Uses Dual Port Ethernet

A major enhancement to the X-gateway family from HMS Industrial Networks releases 10 completely new designed CANopen master (manager) gateways in small slim-line housings. Using built-in dual port Ethernet, the new designs allow any CANopen enabled device with slave functionality to communicate with almost any other fieldbus or industrial Ethernet network.

"What we have done is redesign the X-Gateway to centralize the application configuration and to slim down its physical profile so it takes up less space in the panel," says Jason Block, a Channel Manager for HMS Industrial Networks, Inc. "But the most unique aspect of the product is support for dual port Ethernet with all of our gateway products."

For engineers designing systems, dual port technology will keep the Ethernet backbone a little slimmer. If there is a need to integrate other fieldbus technologies into an existing Ethernet architecture, this approach avoids adding more bulk to the network by requiring additional external switches. Building the switch into the gateway product itself allows use of more linear and ring-based topologies, versus the standard star topologies used in most Ethernet installations.

"Dual port Ethernet provides greater network integrity when used in ring topologies as the ring configuration provides

X-Gateway Uses Dual Port Ethernet
dual paths to devices. Failure of a single switch can no longer compromise entire segments of a network," says Block.

With all of the new Ethernet-based gateways supporting dual port technologies, users can more fully leverage the advantages of the Ethernet architecture.

"We have actually had CANopen slave support for several years where users could take lower level networks and integrate them up to CANopen," says Block. "But with the CANopen master, we can take all of these CANopen field devices and bring those up into higher level architectures."

The CANopen gateway series includes versions for all popular fieldbuses such as Profibus, DeviceNet, Modbus and ControlNet. Support for industrial Ethernet includes the Profinet, EtherNet/IP, EtherCAT and Modbus-TCP protocols.

Embedded into a small plastic housing, the CANopen X-gateways are slim-lined devices for standard DIN rail mounting and 24 Volt power supply. Based on the Anybus communication modules, the CANopen X-gateways act as intelligent links between two industrial networks. On the CANopen side, they always function as a master (manager), while they work as slaves (servers) on the uplink network side.

The implementation is based on HMS NP30 microprocessor and is certified by CAN in Automation (CIA) for full conformance to the CANopen DS 301 v4.0.2 standard.

For the configuration of the CANopen master interface, any standard CANopen configuration tool can be used. The uplink fieldbus or Ethernet slave interface is configured with a standard device description file (GSD / EDS) and the standard engineering tool of the PLC. No programming is required. The gateways transmit I/O data completely transparent between the two networks. I/O data from the uplink fieldbus or Ethernet network is mapped into CANopen PDOs and vice versa.

Future revisions of the Anybus gateway will include an SD memory card slot, beginning in Spring 2011. The memory card will allow users to centralize intelligence, so that one person retains ownership of the configuration intelligence. Using the SD memory card, users will be able to port applications across multiple devices, and users will be able achieve transferability of applications throughout a machine or multiple user installations. Instead of multiple users needing the configuration utilities, a SD memory card with the configuration already on the card will be inserted into the gateway.
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