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tcp/ip udp to EIP converter
Hello Forum

My customer want's to read netPI from his Ethernet/IP master.
so netPI RTE with Ethernet/IP adapter.
on the netPI standard Ethernet interface he wants to have a TCP/IP UDP connection where he gets about 1K of data.
embedded in the ethernet frames are his interesting process data to transfer to the EIP.
Can he do that, how? With what applications would he load into Docker?
and what sort of performance can he expect?
It's a machine control PLC type application so he expects quicker than 50mS update time.

Well this is quite easy to answer.

First of all forget that netPI is a Docker host only for your case. Docker is just an enabler to distribute software in an easy way. Which kind of software can be discussed at later times. netPI basically is just a linux machine you can install any software on that you like.

netPI device in general provides an ethernet port where you can send data across over TCP/IP, UDP and ethernet protocol. Furthtermore netPI provides an industrial network controller netX that can be an EtherNet/IP adapter. So netPI fulfils all hardware requirements your customer has.

Then to the question which software. We provide two types of software you can use ...

... the first which is easy to use but not as fast as you require is named Node-RED. Node-RED for netPI comes with a Fieldbus node that allows to exchange the netX chip inner IO process data buffers with Node-RED. So you are able to read/write process data from and to the chip that is later exchanged with the EtherNet/IP Master when it communicates to master. Since Node-RED is based on javascript the Fieldbus node runs at a cycle time of 200msec. Node-RED also provides a UDP node. So it would be a combination of Fieldbus and UDP node and a setup time of not more than 30minutes and the customers use case would run. But the timing demand of 50msec would be an issue.
... the second is to program the EtherNet/IP adapter in "c" code. Here the cycle time is about 1msec to read/write netx data buffers. We provide a simple example to setup netX in "c" code. The next thing the customer has to do is to take the example as it comes, edit the source code and extend it with standard Linux UDP socket command as you find them million of times on the web: e.g. https://www.geeksforgeeks.org/udp-server...ntation-c/. This solutions means the customer has to programm his application himself.

Me personally I would start with Node-RED since no programming is necessary at all to make plausibility checks with it. The container to load onto the netPI is this one here https://hub.docker.com/r/hilschernetpi/netpi-nodered. With it he can see if it is working principly. The time to set it up and make familiar with Docker and Node-RED is 1 day effort overall. This video is not specificall made for netPI but for general Node-RED fieldbus node usage but will help https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TmNgbGS_ydE

You never fail until you stop trying.“, Albert Einstein (1879 - 1955)


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