Easy, Direct, and Secure connection from PLC to Cloud

  • no coding
  • no PC in the middle
  • no protocol translation

tManager is a ControlLogix module that inserts into the PLC chassis and connects directly to AWS IoT Sitewise for business analytics such as dashboards, quality metrics, or analytics.

Softing and AWS teamed up to streamline the connectivity between ControlLogix and the cloud to eliminate the PC in the middle (so it's direct), eliminate software coding (so it's easy), and eliminate protocol translation so you have a built-for-purpose PLC to cloud connector.

Softing has developed tManager for both ControlLogix and CompactLogix PLCs.

Overview

tManager™ for AWS IoT SiteWise delivers streamlined connectivity between Rockwell PLCs and AWS IoT SiteWise cloud computing services for industrial analytics at scale.  The Softing tManager is a ControlLogix™ or CompactLogix™ PLC module that inserts into the PLC chassis and enables direct and secure transactions between the PLC and cloud – no server, no coding, and no protocol translation.   Softing and AWS teamed-up to deliver the latest version of tManager that connects directly into the AWS IoT Core simplifying the processes to get the plant floor connected to analytics, dashboards, and business results.

·        tManager is a ControlLogix or CompactLogix in-chassis PLC transaction module

·        2 Ethernet ports: 1 port optionally collects data from other PLCs.  1 port connects directly to cloud.

·        No PC between PLC and cloud

·        No coding

·        No protocol translation between PLC and Cloud (natively browse Logix tags, data pre-formatted for AWS IoT Core)

Once connected to the AWS IoT Core, you can use AWS IoT SiteWise to model your physical assets, processes and facilities, quickly compute common industrial performance metrics, and create fully managed web applications to help analyze industrial equipment data, reduce costs and make faster decisions. With AWS IoT SiteWise, you can focus on understanding and optimizing your operations, rather than building costly in-house data collection and management applications.

Connect to AWS IoT Core and you’ll get…

  • Immediate business value Visualize in near-real time operational metrics
  • Extensible architecture Rollout solutions across lines and plants globally
  • Collect, organize, and store Ingest into operational data store, create an industrial data lake, and define virtual assets
  • Direct machine to AWS connectivity tManager in-chassis PLC module is an easy, secure, and direction connection to the cloud

 

Getting Started

Select the Amazon AWS drop down box

In addition to tManager requiring no server, no coding, and no protocol translation for ControlLogix connectivity to the cloud, easy connectivity to AWS IoT Core includes:

·        Drop down box for AWS cloud type

·        Drop down for certificate entry

·        AWS IoT Core auto pre-formatted data

 

tManager, with easy and secure connectivity, simplifies the connectivity process, saves time, and reduces opportunities for errors.

tManager continues to be the platform of choice for direct and secure connections from Rockwell PLCs to databases, such as MSSQL and ORACLE, and to cloud applications such as AWS and Azure.

Discover ControlLogix and browse tags

In the image below, you will find the “ControlLogix Rack”.  Underneath the rack, you will see all of the modules discovered in the rack.  tManager, the in-chassis card, browses the cards in the rack, and processors on the network.  tManager can browse tags on the backplane, and it can browse tags across the Ethernet/IP network.

The first step in creating a transaction between the PLC and AWS is to select the controller, or controllers, that have the tags that you want to browse.

Connect to AWS IoT SiteWise

Next, let’s connect to AWS IoT SiteWise.  The first step is to select “New MQTT Adapter”, since we will be connecting to AWS IoT SiteWise using MQTT.  (Note: if we were connecting to an SQL database, we would select “New MSSQL Adapter”.)

Choose Amazon AWS in the drop down box

And here’s where we make it super easy for you.  See the image below where Softing has included an AWS drop down box.  Selecting Amazon AWS does a lot for you behind the scenes.  Remember, no coding; the transaction is configured completely within this UI (user interface) without you writing any software coding.

Create and choose your AWS endpoint

There are few things to setup on the AWS side.  For one, you’ll need an endpoint.  Set this up on the AWS site, and then copy the end point, as shown below.

Paste your AWS endpoint

Then paste the endpoint in the tManager UI, here…  This tells tManager where it is allowed to send data in the AWS IoT Core.

Setup security

Connecting to AWS IoT Core is secure.  AWS uses SSL/TLS, and AWS uses certificates.  Get these .cer and .pfx certificates from AWS, and insert them here.  Once inserted into the tManager UI, you are securely connected to AWS.

Map logix tags to AWS tags

Now that tManager is connected to ControlLogix and AWS, the last thing to do is to configure the transactions between these sources.

Starting on the left in the image below, we are browsing and selecting the Logix tags so we can monitor WindTurbine parameters in an AWS dashboard. 

Select the Logix tags desired and paste them into the transaction window in the middle.  Now, since AWS requires a JSON schema, we’ve included a handy tool to right-click the WindTurbine tag group and generate the JSON schema which lays down these tags to the right of the CLX tags in the middle.

Where are we sending this data?  What topic are we sending it to?  In this case, we’ve configured a dashboard in AWS, and the topic in AWS is “tManager01/turbine1”.  So, we’ll type this topic in the window on the right and click OK.

Define a transaction trigger

And then finally, when do we want the transaction to fire?  This is the trigger for the transaction.  In this case, we want the transaction to fire once per second (every 1000msecs), and we will set this to “always”, so no conditions are needed.

Start the transaction

The only thing left is to start the trigger, start the transaction, and start the project.  We give you this flexibility because you might want to stop a transaction on one project without stopping another transaction occurring on the same in-chassis tManager module.

AWS IoT SiteWise dashboard now updating

tManager is collecting data from ControlLogix tags and publishing these to a topic in AWS, and now you can see that the dashboard created in AWS is getting data.  The UI above is no longer required.  The UI can be closed down because the tManager in-chassis card is running and handling all transactions.  The only reason you might need the UI is to check timing, status, start/stop transactions or change configuration.

You can Watch this demo that shows the setup above for connecting ControlLogix to AWS IoT SiteWise.

For more information about other tManager connectivity options visit… https://data-intelligence.softing.com/us/products/iot-gateways/rockwell-in-chassis-modules/eatm-tmanager-controllogix/