Ewon Launches New M2Web for PLC Data Access
Remote access to equipment offers the benefits of both data visualization and remote programming ability for faster operation. Ewon’s recent announcement of the free M2Web offers remote access solutions.
Two important topics in the world of control are PLC systems and Industry 4.0, which involves the linking of data from the shop floor to the global systems which can analyze and process the data to make better decisions. Bridging these two systems is often a difficult challenge in reality, due to the disconnect of physical devices, networks, and controllers from the virtual world of remote data.
Ewon has recently updated its M2Web service that attempts to address this challenge, providing both the hardware bridge, but also the software and service required for securely uploading and visualizing data locally or remotely. By creating the link between the physical hardware and a remote network, it is also possible to securely access and program the PLC and other connected devices.
Ewon M2Web allows remote network access to equipment and data. Image used courtesy of Ewon
How M2Web Works
M2Web is designed to help manufacturers be more efficient and profitable by giving them access to PLC data for use in the improvement of their plant processes. Users will first need to create a Talk2M account. Talk2M is a free cloud service that creates powerful industrial connectivity to allow the user to monitor all of their machines in one location.
In order to link the PLC into the system, it will need to be equipped with an Ewon gateway. The gateway is necessary to create a secure VPN connection over the Internet to your Talk2M account. Once the VPN connection has been established the system can be accessed anywhere via the Talk2M service by authorized users. It can also be configured automatically using a USB stick or SD card.
Once the system has been set up and the connections created, it becomes possible to access the system anywhere there is an internet connection. The secure connection can be used to program and monitor the PLC as if the programming computer was connected to the PLC directly with a single cable. Remote access and programming capabilities have the potential to create significant cost savings, since programmers can access the system at any time.
Remote access provides faster diagnostics and alarms. Image used courtesy of Ewon
HMIs and monitors can also be controlled and programmed remotely using the M2Web service. Mobile devices can gain access through M2Web’s web portal. eCatcher Mobile is also available as a mobile specific service for remote capabilities using only a mobile device.
Benefits of M2Web
M2Web offers many benefits to manufacturers and anyone with automated systems. It can help reduce the costs associated with downtime and travel costs for service techs. Since systems can be accessed and programmed remotely significant time savings are possible.
The system supports all major protocols including:
- OPC UA
With the Ewon “Flexy” gateway, different types of data can be read from different PLCs and programs. After the data is read M2Web can then store the data with options for notification via email or web server dashboards. The dashboards can be customized using Ewon’s “viewOn” service.
Remote access allows system troubleshooting from anywhere in the world. Image used courtesy of Ewon
Data transfer is possible via a direct link to using Flexy software, by regularly pushing it using MQTT, HTTPS, or OPC UA connections. The other method of data transfer involves using “DataMailbox” an M2Web service that stores data temporarily until the IoT software retrieves it via a call to the Talk2M API. It uses synchronization mechanisms to help reduce the risk of data loss during transmission.
Ewon hopes to bring the value of data connectivity to the automation industry. The system shows promise for creating new avenues of data transmission and remote monitoring. Programming from afar has many benefits and may help to reduce downtime and costs associated with travel.
Ewon Product Brand
Ewon is a product brand of HMS Networks, a leading independent manufacturer of products for industrial communication. They are based in Nivelles, Belgium. The company produces data communication products capable of helping manufacturers and machine builders increase efficiency and productivity through data analysis.
They are helping companies in their move toward using the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) and Industry 4.0. IIoT and Industry 4.0 rely on data collection and analysis to monitor and improve plant processes based on historical and real-time data. Ewon invests particular effort into assisting companies with digital solutions.
- Effective & sustainable remote access.
- Proactive remote monitoring.
- Data integration for third-party applications.
The newly released M2Web helps to bring customers’ machine monitoring directly to their fingertips via a web connection. The system hopes to easily implement proactive remote monitoring for Ewon’s customer base.