Automation World post an article yesterday about a new controller communications product from Molex that allows you to connect controllers from multiple vendors in order to improve the control you have over you automation.

One of the newest releases of this type comes from Molex, which has upgraded the firmware on its SST Ethernet communication module to support Siemens industrial Ethernet protocol, thus enabling the connection of Rockwell Automation’s ControlLogix PLCs to Siemens’ Simatic controllers (including the 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.

The firmware update (which supports 32- and 64-bit platforms in Windows 7) reportedly enables users to simultaneously manage communication in client and server modes to allow the SST 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 for up to 127 TCP connections.

This is a great next step in factory automation technology, freeing manufacturers to use the machines they need.

To read the entire article, go to http://www.automationworld.com/connecting-controllers-different-vendors