Universal Industrial Gateway – How does it work?

February 14, 2020

The Universal Industrial Gateway - How does it work?

Multiple Devices, Tags and Tag Maps

Spectrum Controls’s Universal Industrial Gateway is a bridging device, enabling users to bridge multiple types of PLCs, with multiple types of protocols. This single device consists of five ports that enables components to communicate over nine different protocols. It facilitates new machine integration, network modernization and legacy device connections on the plant floor.

The Universal Industrial Gateway consists of three major components:

Universal Industrial Gateway
  1. Devices
  2. Tags
  3. Tag Maps

device is a PLC, or other communication enabled device that must communicate with other devices on the network with various protocols.

tag identifies where the data will be written to or read from within a given device.

The tag map differentiates between source tags and destination tags. The gateway reads data from source tags and writes data to destination tags. The tag map also dictates how and when the data is exchanged.

NOTE: The Universal Industrial Gateway supports up to 50 tag maps where each tag map has a maximum of 100 pairs of tags. A pair of tags consists of one source and one destination tag.

The below schematic is an example of the Universal Industrial Gateway passing control data from a PLC to a Variable Frequency Drive, and then passing back the Variable Frequency Drive status data to the PLC. This setup represents two devices each with three tags. The tag map is configured using two PLC tags as source tags moving control data to two VFD destination tags. Additionally, the tag map uses one of the VFD tags as a source tag, moving status data to the PLC destination tag.

Tag Map

The setup of the tags and tag map do not require programming. No changes to the ladder logic or I/O tree. Everything is set up in the gateway’s browser-based configuration tool. This makes the addition and removal of devices simple and fast. For further detail on initialization and system configuration, see the below videos and detailed user manual.

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