Ferdale, WA, 28th April 2012 : One of the penalties of using computers, hardware as well as software is the speed at which it goes out of date. Within the IT industry there are hundreds of thousands of very fine minds steadily working on improvements and developments to known technologies as well as introducing new ones.

But what about the packages that work perfectly satisfactorily to do the job they were initially designed to do. Not only do they represent a considerable investment in time and development they also appear to have no need to be upgraded. That is on their own. The only trouble is that all around them other elements are being upgraded and all of a sudden the interfaces with new machines and with the upgraded control systems no longer work smoothly.

One example might be a fairly automated factory which was working on the now outdated, but perfectly workable Allen Bradley Digital Highway (DH or DH+). It now needs to integrate its controls with a modern system that is running an Ethernet/IP PLC.

Instead of having to invest in new software and hardware and go through the pain of development again one can look for an interface device that will do this job seamlessly.

For example you have a system that is on your factory floor controlling and monitoring a series of machines in a production line. You have been through the development and the adaption pains with the Allen Badley DH+ system and the seemingly never ending cycle of debugging and fixing snags so that now, and for the last few years, everything runs smoothly. But this stability is being threatened by the need to upgrade as supply and ancillary systems now wish to integrate and they are running a modern Programmable Logic Controller (PLC) and suddenly you are looking at a painful period of upgrades and bug fixing again.

Relax! This is actually not necessary. The answer lies with a ethernet/ip dh+.

The good folk at DataLink Technologies have a gateway to take all this pain away from you; Their single box, the GW1000-ABEIP which is a Gateway link designed to work as a bridge for outdated PLCs to link to an Ethernet PLC thus eliminating the need to upgrade each PLC with an Ethernet connection. All DH+ nodes can be left as they are but work through a gateway to communicate with the more modern systems.

DataLink Technologies makes a single converter, multi-protocol gateway for (AB) Allen Bradley PLC users; providing a one-box DH+/DH-485 protocol converter between Ethernet/IP DH+, AB Ethernet, ModTCP (Modbus TCP/IP) and serial (DF1, ASCII, Modbus) protocols. The most common application is using our GW1000-ABEIP gateway that provides Remote Ethernet PLC programming (RSLINX/LOGIX) to multiple DH+ nodes and provides a cost-effective alternative to the AB Controllogix Gateway (1756-ENBT and 1756-RIO). This solution extends the life of legacy Allen-Bradley DH+ Panelviews, PLC5 and SLC/04s by eliminating the need to upgrade each PLC with an Ethernet processor.

It can communicate with 5 Ethernet connections at the same time as multiple DH+ nodes. Thus the system can be programmed to read from and write to many of the typical legacy PLCs such as Panelview to communicate with a Compactlogix on an Ethernet/IP.

The GW1000 gateway is multi-protocol and can easily be converted between the various protocols with available firmware changes. Configuration is easy via a Web screen or Telnet.