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Anybus x-gateway Profibus -> Profibus compatibility
I have a client with a few Anybus X-gateway Profitnet IO to Profitnet IO slave devices installed in various locations.
I need to be able to read and write to the registers and stream the data to Azure IoT Hub. I am looking for advice on whether the netpi devices will allow me to do this without having to write lots of profibus code?


Well James,

the netPI RTE 3 device can only be a single PROFINET IO device on one side and an IOT device (i.e. Azure) on the other. Whereas the HMS device you are referencing is a PROFINET to PROFINET gateway usually connecting two different PROFINET networks with each other.

So my question is are you looking for a device that is able to provide both functions PROFINET to PROFINET and Azure function all in one or is your need just to bring some PROFINET data to Azure only?. In latter case netPI is your device. But before we continue to talk this question needs to be answered first.

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

Hi Armin,
I am looking at the second case- bringing some Profinet data to Azure only. The scenario is as follows: -
The customer has a large piece of industrial equipment that I'm assuming runs using a local profitnet network, exclusive to that piece of equipment. I think they are using the HMS gateway to isolate the local profinet network and only expose certain things to a wider profinet network that might be running in the building. The larger network can read some values from a register and write back some values to a register in order to monitor and perform basic control functions of the equipment.

We firstly want to read the data from the register and stream this to Azure IoT Hub as a JSON message. This will happen every x seconds.
Next, we will process this data in the cloud and it will be passed through an algorithm that decides how the equipment should run. Should the algorithm determine that the machine needs to run in a different way we would send a cloud to device message back which in turn would then set the write register of the profinet device.

This project can be realized within 30 minutes with netPI. netPI uses Docker to post-install containerized applications. One application is Node-RED. Maybe you have heard about it already. Here is a link to its homepage https://nodered.org/.  Node-RED is an application to wire/hack in IoT applications in a very intuitive way via socalled nodes. Pre-programmed nodes exist for Azure, IBM, Google etc. to send data to such cloud platforms. Additionally Hilscher offers a PROFINET node that grabs IO data from the PROFINET network across the netPI Industrial Ethernet interface. 

If you wire now the two nodes together you get a soluton wtihin some minutes. Precondition is of course that you have to have an Azure account with an Azure IoT Hub service booked. Then the data from the PROFINET node is transmitted to the Azure node ... and from there with your Azure keys/credentials ... to the Azure Cloud.

Here is a video I made how to do the similar thing with IBM cloud https://youtu.be/1vbrRGotONY. Just replace the shown IBM node with the corresponding Azure node while watching the video in your mind ... then you have your solution.
You never fail until you stop trying.“, Albert Einstein (1879 - 1955)

Hi Armin,
Great, thanks. We are Azure experts so I am very comfortable with that element but we are learning Profinet. I had originally planned to write our own software and run on an industrial gateway - assuming there would be tons of code examples. I've since found that Profinet code examples are hugely lacking and I don't want to have to implement from scratch due to time and budget pressures. I'm familiar with NodeRed so this sounds like it will be a very quick solution.
The recommended netPI Node-RED version available as docker container is located here: https://hub.docker.com/repository/docker...pi-nodered. It includes of course Node-RED pre-installed, the PROFINET fieldbus node and the Azure nodes.

With PROFINET it is quite easy. In your PLC PROFINET engineering software you have to import the socalled GDSML file from the netPI fieldbus node first. Then you have to configure the number of process data inputs and outputs the netPI shall represent in the PROFINET cycle. In your case only outputs may be enough, since you want to output data from your PROFINET master to the netPI PROFINET device only. This configuration has to match to the number of inputs and outputs you configured in the netPI fieldbus also which is the second step.

The most important thing is that with PROFINET all devices are getting their IP address from the PROFINET master automatically. In order to let the master set the correct IP address for the respective device, the device needs to get a unique name in the network that is usually setup using the PLC engineering software with a special PROFINET command. All engineering software I know have implemted this function.

To get well informed about getting a Docker container to run on netPI watch this video first of all: https://youtu.be/A-asfhl7b0c. It shows how you make a basic setup of the netPI in general and to let it start the Docker engine and then  how you deploy a Docker container in general afterwards.

If your PROFINET master is a Siemens PLC then I have another video https://youtu.be/2WBt8XAurVU that shows the overall procedure how to get netPI running with a Siemens PLC over PROFINET.

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


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