Written by Tony Deane, Technical Manger
Start planning and taking action to mitigate for obsolecence now!
How many times over the years have you had to say to someone “I told you so!” Just recently this has become a recurring theme for me.
Three years ago, I did my first blog on the demise of the Interbus Master for Siemens PLC systems manufactured by Phoenix Contact. The IBS S5 DSC/IT termination board for S5 115U systems had already been replaced by the S7 300 DSC/IT and S7 400 DSC/IT.
However, the horizon for the S7 300 and S7 400 products was clearly looming as these systems were being superseded by the S7 1200 and S7 1500 PLC systems furthermore the S7 1200 and S7 1500 do not support an Interbus master device on its internal bus.
“OK,” I hear you say, “just change the system to Profinet.”
That would be fine not withstanding the fact that Interbus systems are usually part of a widespread infrastructure within a Distribution centre or Automotive facility. Changing the entire system would be a mammoth task involving a lengthy down / changeover period not to mention the ripping out of a sound working infrastructure. A less than appealing prospect for any organisation!
So how can this conundrum be solved?
To coincide with the obsolescence of the PLC Interbus Master devices Phoenix Contact introduced the FL NP PND-4TX IB Profinet to Interbus Proxy. The FL NP PND-4TX IB is a Profinet device which has a full Interbus G4 master incorporated into it.
It is parameterised via its Profinet GSDML file which when imported into the editor of the Profinet PLC, allows full configuration of the Interbus Network to the PLC.
The main difference now is that instead of exchanging data with an Interbus master physically connected to the PLC, you exchange data with a Profinet device which communicates with the Interbus Master connected to the Interbus devices.
This has two major benefits
- It immediately solves the obsolescence issue of the Master device when upgrading to the latest S7 controllers.
- It allows a gradual migration over a period of time to Profinet I/O, if desired.
Don’t get caught out. Start planning for obsolescence now! Contact Tony for more information: firstname.lastname@example.org or tel 07824 437393