New Products from Advantech Automation

1U Rackmount Models for Serial Device Servers

The Industrial Automation Group of Advantech announces the addition of two new 1U rackmount models to its line of Serial Device Servers. The EKI-1528 and EKI-1526 feature 8 and 16 RS-232/422/485 serial ports in a 1U rackmount chassis, which are ideal for high-density remote monitoring, management and control of serial devices over Ethernet and Internet Protocol (IP) networks.

Transparent Access to Serial Devices
For easy integration with COM-port based Windows™ applications, included COM-port redirection software allows virtual access to remote serial devices, just as if they were onboard COM-ports. With this tool, integration with PC-based systems takes just a few minutes, and it’s transparent to host application software as well as connected equipment.

In addition to Virtual COM-port operation, the EKI-1528 and EKI-1526 support native TCP/IP and UDP/IP aware applications like OPC Servers and HMI systems that support serial encapsulation. Both client and server modes are supported, for applications where serial device initiated or host initiated communications are required.

Redundancy LAN ports for High Availability
Dual 10/100 Mbps Ethernet connections ensure continuous communication, even in the event of a network problem. With one port assigned as primary and the other as a backup, loss of the primary connection initiates an immediate and automatic switch-over to the backup, ensuring data integrity and peace-of-mind.

Advanced Operating Modes, and Multi-Access
Where one-to-many or many-to-one connections are required, Multi-Access mode allows a single RS-232/422/485 serial device to send or receive data to multiple remote hosts. This is particularly important where multiple PC-based system need access to a single serial device for shared access, or where replacing systems using RS-422/485 bus architectures.

Easy to Setup and Configuration
All that is needed for setup is a PC or laptop and a web browser. Complete access to all configuration parameters is supported, and a built-in serial port monitor helps diagnose issues with attached devices, eliminating the need for additional equipment or software. The EKI-1528 and EKI-1526 also support setup via a dedicated serial console port, telnet via the network interface, or through the included Windows-based setup and configuration utility.

Enterprise Ready
For seamless integration with enterprise IT systems, both models support SNMP (Simple Network Management Protocol), which allows remote performance and availability monitoring. In the event of a critical system event, alarm messages can be sent via SNMP trap to enterprise monitoring systems, or by e-mail notification to system operators.

Ruggedized for Industrial Applications
Like other EKI Industrial Ethernet family products, these Device Servers are designed for demanding industrial applications. Utilizing low power components and convection cooling, there is no need for cooling fans, eliminating a common end-user worry about maintenance and downtime. Additionally, the serial ports include built-in 15KV ESD protection to protect against static discharge.

4-Axis Stepping/Pulse-type Servo Motor Control Module for the ADAM-5550
The Industrial Automation Group of Advantech introduces the ADAM-5240, a 4-axis stepping/pulse-type servo motor control module for use with the ADAM-5550 series PACs (Programmable Automation Controllers). The ADAM-5240 is fully integrated to fulfill general purpose motion applications. It’s equipped with high-speed 4-axis motion control that simplifies stepping and pulse-type servo motor control.

Furthermore, the ADAM-5240 is embedded with an intelligent novaR MCX314-motion ASIC card which includes various motion control functions, such as 2/3-axis linear interpolation, 2-axis circular interpolation, programmable T/S-curve acceleration/deceleration rate, powerful position management functions, etc.. The ADAM-5240 performs these motion control functions without processor loading during driving.

For advanced applications, Advantech supplies Windows DLL drivers and user-friendly examples to decrease programming load. 

New Generation of Modbus Gateways

The Industrial Automation Group of Advantech introduces the EKI-1220 series Modbus Gateways, for quick and easy integration of Modbus serial devices with Industrial Ethernet networks. Available in two configurations, the EKI-1221 and EKI-1222 feature one or two RS-232/422/485 serial ports, with redundant 10/100 Mbps Ethernet connections, for transparently connecting Modbus ASCII/RTU and Modbus/TCP devices and equipment.

Transparent Operation
The EKI-1220 series gateways support a wide range of configurations between serial and Ethernet devices, including: Ethernet master to serial slave, serial slave to Ethernet master, and concurrent operation of both modes. More importantly, they are designed for transparent operation, which means no changes are required to installed devices, equipment or software systems.

Advanced Functionality and Security
To route requests to the appropriate serial port on multi-port models, a user-defined table associates Ethernet host IP addresses to serial slave IDs, allowing access through a single IP port, for easier systems integration and compatibility with existing Modbus/TCP networks. A connection status monitor is included, that displays which IP hosts are connected to each serial port, that is very helpful during setup and commissioning or to troubleshooting communications issues. For enhanced security, access can be restricted to specific IP network hosts.

“Building upon our previous generation Modbus Gateway, and numerous enhancements suggested by our customers, we’re excited about the exceptional performance and capabilities of these new models” said Paul Wacker, Product Manager for Industrial Communications at Advantech. “The EKI-1221 and EKI-1222 give industrial equipment OEMs and end-users a transparent and cost-effective means to connect serial Modbus ASCII/RTU devices and equipment with Ethernet using Modbus/TCP.”

Redundant Ethernet for High Availability
Given the zero unplanned downtime requirements for industrial applications, these Modbus gateways feature dual 10/100 Mbps Ethernet connections, to ensure communications in the event of a network problem. With one physical connection assigned as primary and the other as backup, communications can continue on the backup in the event of a problem with the primary, ensuring uninterrupted communications and peace-of-mind for plant maintenance and operations staff.

Ruggedized for Demanding Industrial Applications
Like the other EKI series Industrial Ethernet products, the EKI-1221 and EKI-1222 are packaged in a compact and thin metal DIN-rail mount chassis. Ruggedized for demanding industrial applications, these units include dual 12 to 48 VDC power inputs, power line surge (EFT) protection of 3,000 VDC, and 4,000 VDC Ethernet ESD protection to ensure maximum system uptime and uninterrupted communications.

“ARC’s market research indicates that MODBUS remains the most common protocol for industrial Ethernet networks” said Harry Forbes, an ARC analyst. “Advantech’s new gateway products for MODBUS and MODBUS TCP illustrate the continued need for solid products that serve these industrial applications”