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RSLogix Access PLC Via Internet
Is it possible to access a PLC from RSLogix 5000 installed anywhere?

Hello,

We have several different types of PLC's in our factory. In a start-up phase of a new machine, we grant permission for the manufacturer to access the machine PLC via internet.

With Siemens Simatic STEP 7 and Simatic Teleservice, the manufacturer can access our networked PLC from his/her PC from anywhere via some RAS arrangement (Remote Access Service) provided by our IT departement. We (the customer) do not even need the Step 7 suite.

With RSLogix 5000 and Allen Bradley PLC's this is not possible according to Rockwell. Why? The only solution we found is to have one local PC with an activated RSLogix installed for each corresponding PLC. Very inconvenient and very expensive!

Suggestions anyone?

By Tom Chubb on 19 March, 2010 - 9:46 am

You probably want to be looking into RSLinx:
http://www.rockwellautomation.com/rockwellsoftware/design/rslinx/
But I don't know anything about it I'm afraid

HTH

--
Tom Chubb
tom@tomchubb.com | tomchubb@gmail.com
07912 202846

Long time since I played with RSLinx but I am sure you can connect a modem to the serial port of the PLC then the supplier can configure a dial up serial link in their RSLinx.

By bob peterson on 19 March, 2010 - 12:08 pm

I suspect you are asking the wrong question, getting the correct answer to that question, but never realizing you asked the wrong question in the first place.

There are several ways to remotely access AB PLCs, including over the Internet. RAS may not be one of the ways (which might make it the wrong question to be asking), but there are other ways of getting remote access.

I support a client remotely for PLC-5, SLC and ControlLogix via Ethernet without a problem. I do need VPN access to the client's internal network (they implement this access using a RSA device that is issued to me that generates a 6 digit number that changes every minute) but otherwise RSLinx is happy.

The only restriction is that I cannot download to a PanelView 600 via an SLC5/05. That particular HMI uses RS-485 and due to a quirk in the addressing required, it only allows a "pass-through" if the programming PC is on the same sub-net that the SLC is on (the first 3 octets of the IP Address much match). If the PanelView was on their internal Ethernet there would be no problem or if the unit was a PanelView Plus it could work. I support all configurations of ControlLogix without an issue.

My guess is that Rockwell doesn't want to support their processor by a direct link and this remote access to a PC provides a method of maintaining back-up files locally. I could see where Rockwell would not want to maintain 100s of different programs from any number of customers - local PCs get around that issue completely. (It also means they sell another copy of RSLogix)

Regards,
Russ

Interesting! We are talking about ControlLogix and RSLogix 5000/RSLinx. The machine builder's programmer also uses VPN. It was the programmer who told us in the first place that a copy of RSLogix and RSLinx had to be installed locally on our factory network. Our local Rockwell representative just confirmed this.

Can you explain your set up in more detail?

Helge

By Bruce Axtell on 23 March, 2010 - 10:07 am

I have been connecting to remote PLCs & HMIs without any on-site customer technical involvement whatsoever. While I am using Micrologix 1400s, the same can be done with the ControlLogix 5000 families. All the machines are connected via Ethernet (I have a switch in one of the panels). I then connect a cellular modem to the switch and can connect at any time to any machine on the network.

There is no local IT requirement, no phone lines (analog), no local software, or any local support needed. All the software is remote at my end. This allows me to do on-line editing, monitoring, troubleshooting at will, even while the machine is operating. (Observe the usual caveats when doing this.)

I can connect to the HMI as if I were standing at it, or edit it if need be. I even have a cellular modem "service package" that I can send to any customer and connect to any machine for technical support, upgrades, etc. RS Linx or other software is not needed at the remote site at all.

The modem hardware is less than $750 and a monthly data package runs $35-50 depending on your wireless provider and package. That's much less expensive than a service trip or even a local computer/software/IT connection. I have connected to machines in Alaska, Florida, California...location doesn't matter.

Bruce A.

By Bruce Axtell on 23 March, 2010 - 12:15 pm

I forgot to mention...the connection is over the internet. The remote cellular data modem connects to the internet. On my end, all that's needed is a VPN tunnel through the firewall to the internet. I can also diagnose the cellular modem. I just enter the IP address in the browser and log onto the cellular modem itself. I can see the signal strength, and a host of operational values and internal configuration settings.

Bruce A.

By Roman Rusconi on 17 July, 2010 - 5:12 pm

Do you connect the cellular modem directly to the PLC/HMI you need to access or to a router so you can access several remote devices?

Bruce, Thanks for the post. I have a cellular router I have been using for a couple of years now. This is the first time I am trying to connect with RSlogix to remote PLCs (L32Es). Can you share any setup info in the router. I am using the Digi Modem Connect Port Wan.

My email is rich.tincher [at] etrol.net.

Thanks in advance...

Hi Bruce,

Please, can you provide me the details of how you were able to achieve this. I am currently working on a masters degree project with topic that is very much related.

My email is albertinoju@yahoo.co.uk

Thanks!
Albert.

What particular hardware and software did you use? We are trying to do the same thing using Sixnet, but we are having problems.

Computrol
computrol [at] att [dot] net

> I have been connecting to remote PLCs & HMIs without any on-site customer
> technical involvement whatsoever. While I am using Micrologix 1400s, the same
> can be done with the ControlLogix 5000 families. All the machines are
> connected via Ethernet (I have a switch
>in one of the panels).

---- snip ----

I am trying to communicate with a compactlogix PLC over internet. I have connected a modem to the PLC and configured the port mapping. when I access the modem IP through a browser, it will route me to the PLC embedded webpage. However, the difficulty what I am facing is in creating a driver for the PLC in RSLinx in order to communicate read and modify the controller logic.

I would appreciate if you could able to take some time and look at this issue.

my email is: a.shaik@hotmail.co.uk

Thank you.

By Bob Peterson on 29 August, 2013 - 10:13 am

there are a number of knowledge base articles on this topic at the ab website.

By Anastasia on 30 May, 2014 - 7:11 am

Hello Bruce,

I also use Micrologix 1400 on site and we had some issues with connection to Schneider controllers so I start thinking about remote access because as you said these days it's not possible to go on site every time they have an issue. Thus, I highly appreciate if you can explain in detail your hardware and connection so I can do the same when I'm on site.

Thank you very much, looking forward to get your answer.

By Mark Gallard on 1 January, 2016 - 3:40 pm

we are attempting to do this right now at a remote site. There is a 1769-L32E, with a Verizon wireless card and a router connected. we have been able to get internet access while being connected to the local router with a PC, But I have not been able to get to the router through the internet and access the PL. Any help you can give me here would be great, as far as setup on the Verizon wireless card and router, as well as setup on my PC to get access.

Thanks in advance
Mark Gallard

By Lynn Linse on 1 January, 2016 - 8:48 pm

Assuming your PLC has a fixed IP (like 192.168.0.10), the most common failure is that your need to use RSLogix to add the correct 'gateway ip' to the network config within the PLC - this is the IP the router exposes to the local Ethernet (like 192.168.0.1). This would allow the PLC to push out to verizon. If you want to access the router via verizon, you'll require a FIXED IP, which costs extra per month (or you'll need more complex private VPN setup within Verizon).

- Lynn

>we are attempting to do this right now at a remote site.
>There is a 1769-L32E, with a Verizon wireless card and a
>router connected. we have been able to get internet access
>while being connected to the local router with a PC, But I
>have not been able to get to the router through the internet
>and access the PL. Any help you can give me here would be
>great, as far as setup on the Verizon wireless card and
>router, as well as setup on my PC to get access.

We are accessing Rockwell PLC's remotely for support purposes using plcremote.net Even used it on a 1769-L32E Compact Logix (same one below). No FIXED IP (static IP) addresses or VPN's are required.

>Assuming your PLC has a fixed IP (like 192.168.0.10), the
>most common failure is that your need to use RSLogix to add
>the correct 'gateway ip' to the network config within the
>PLC - this is the IP the router exposes to the local
>Ethernet (like 192.168.0.1). This would allow the PLC to
>push out to verizon. If you want to access the router via
>verizon, you'll require a FIXED IP, which costs extra per
>month (or you'll need more complex private VPN setup within
>Verizon).

Hi,

If all the PLCs that you have is presently connected to a SCADA computer, the simplest solution to access the PLCs is to activate the RAS services on the SCADA computer itself and controlling/modifying the settings from the existing HMI/GUI. You can do this by using commercial SW such as PC any where or free versions of VNC software.

I found the VNC services available on the Linux OS (Mandrake and Ubuntu) pretty good and you can directly control the supervisory computer software (The scada computer). You can contact your IT department to provide a VNC tunnel/ Virtual Private Network access to the rest of the internet PCs. That way you can control and change the settings from your internet enabled mobile/pocket PC/ desktop/ Laptop even while on Holiday! (That is provided you work on Holidays too! :-)) Hope this helps

Ramesh

By Jeremy Pollard on 28 March, 2010 - 7:25 pm

Set up an access computer with the RSLogix software, set up the remote access software (could be VNC, Route1 MobiKEY [2 or 3 factor authentication], or ...???) then you would control the local PC remotely.. like PC Anywhere of days gone by..

Depending on the application etc, security would be totally the top priority.. check out Route1.com... I use it very cool!!

Cheers from :
Jeremy Pollard, CET The Caring Canuckian!
www[.]tsuonline[.]com
Control Design www[.]controldesignmag[.]com
Manufacturing Automation www[.]automationmag[.]com
3 Red Pine Court, RR# 2 Shanty Bay, Ontario L0L 2L0

Yes, this is the solution we have found, so we have found a working solution. But my point is that in principle I shouldn't have to buy that "extra" RSLogix software license.

By Sivakumar Ramachandran on 1 April, 2010 - 6:38 am

Try Using eWON VPN with which u can Remotely Manage your multiple PLC's (Siemens/ML1200/ML1400/Control logix) withe a single hardware. The connections can be via factory internet or GPRS which is available in Module itself. SIM has to be procured separately.

You don't need to buy a license of Rslogix or Rslink if the OEM is going to give you support. Just connect your plc to ethernet and give them access (VPN. Now, if they aren't willing to give you support, you need to buy the license,)

another option is to find a local integrator with the license, he can give you support whenever you need to do some changes on the plc logic.

By Norm Seidel on 4 August, 2010 - 6:00 pm

I'm using the eWON solution for remote access. One piece of hardware with the LAN address of your control network. The WAN port is hooked up to port that gets internet access. VPN is setup up remotely on a site so no IT department has to be involved. From the site you can connect to any of your eWONs installed to upload, download, and monitor your control network as you would with your PC connected locally.

By Rodney Wirtz on 18 July, 2010 - 3:19 pm

Well, I have the same interest.

At home I would like to enter the Internet IP address of my work's addres into my RSLinx and see if it will access the Internet.
At work, I would like to PORT forward the RSLinx request to my SLC-505. So...

1. Don't know if RSLinx will access the Internet with an Internet IP Address of my work?

2. Don't know what port for forward on my router at work. Anyone know the PORT number RSLinx uses?

Thanks,
Rodney...

By Jeremy Pollard on 25 July, 2010 - 12:12 pm

PLC's use ports 2222/2223.
The remote PLC has to have a routable address - public..

I have used RSLinx to access different IP's on different networks with internal routing which is good... so the internet is just another routing step..

Cheers from :
Jeremy Pollard, CET The Caring Canuckian!
www[.]tsuonline[.]com
Control Design www[.]controldesignmag[.]com
Manufacturing Automation www[.]automationmag[.]com
3 Red Pine Court, RR# 2 Shanty Bay, Ontario L0L 2L0

I know this is an old post, but we had a similar problem at our workplace. We used the remote plc access solution from Secomea (the SM not the vpn) and that worked just fine. What did you use as your solution?

We have used Inhand Networks router.
IR791PH09 with GPRS/UMTS
IR794UE with ADSL already installed.

Kind Regards
Luca

Hi,
Inhand modems can be used to access an AB plc remotely.


Thanks,
Sarath

For remote access to PLC systems the absolute best solution that I have found is TOSIBOX.

This is without a doubt the easiest and most secure system I have ever seen, check their web site for info.

To access older machines that use Data Highway Plus I've used a DH+ to Ethernet box from Data Link Converters.

This system allows direct access to the PLC or PLCs networked together and does not require a "hub" computer with additional software. You access the PLC(s) directly from your PC with your software - it's like having an Ethernet cable 200 miles long!

By Matthew Cameron on 13 July, 2017 - 2:44 pm

Were you able to get devices to show up in RSLinx through the Tosibox? I am currently trying to get a few devices that are plugged into a Tosibox to show up in RSLinx and am not having too much luck. It appears that they keep timing out. If you have any tips here, I would greatly appreciate it!