X-Gateway Uses Dual Port Ethernet

DN Staff

December 2, 2010

3 Min Read
X-Gateway Uses Dual Port Ethernet

Amajor enhancement to the X-gatewayfamily from HMS Industrial Networks releases 10 completely newdesigned CANopen master (manager) gateways in small slim-line housings. Usingbuilt-in dual port Ethernet, the new designs allow any CANopen enabled devicewith slave functionality to communicate with almost any other fieldbus orindustrial Ethernet network.

"What we have done is redesign theX-Gateway to centralize the application configuration and to slim down its physicalprofile so it takes up less space in the panel," says Jason Block, a ChannelManager for HMS Industrial Networks, Inc. "But the most uniqueaspect of the product is support for dual port Ethernet with all of our gatewayproducts."

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

"Dual port Ethernet provides greaternetwork integrity when used in ring topologies as the ring configurationprovides

dual paths to devices. Failure of a single switch can no longercompromise entire segments of a network," says Block.

With all of the new Ethernet-based gateways supportingdual port technologies, users can more fully leverage the advantages of the Ethernetarchitecture.

"We have actually had CANopen slave supportfor several years where users could take lower level networks and integratethem up to CANopen," says Block. "But with the CANopen master, we can take allof these CANopen field devices and bring those up into higher levelarchitectures."

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

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

The implementation is based on HMS NP30microprocessor and is certified by CAN in Automation (CIA) for full conformanceto the CANopen DS 301 v4.0.2 standard.

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

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

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