Allen-Bradley Device Plugin

The Allen-Bradley Device Plugin allows reading and writing values from Allen-Bradley PLC devices over EtherNet/IP.

In the current version, the following device types are supported:

  • ControlLogix/CompactLogix
  • Micro800
  • MicroLogix
  • PLC-5
  • SLC 500

The whole Allen-Bradley Device Plugin configuration is located in the node path /System/Devices/Allen-Bradley Device.

Channel

An Allen-Bradley Device Channel represents the connection to a Allen-Bradley PLC.

Settings

Address

IP adresse of the Allen-Bradley PLC.

Device Type

The device type of the Allen-Bradley PLC. The following device types are supported:

  • ControlLogix/CompactLogix
  • Micro800
  • MicroLogix
  • PLC-5
  • SLC 500
CIP Path

The CIP path to the PLC. This field must be specified for ControlLogix/CompactLogix as well as for a DH+ protocol bridge (i.e. a DHRIO module).
This field can have the format A,B where A specifies the port type (0=Backplane) and B specifies the slot in which the CPU is plugged.

Example: 1,0

Operation Timeout

The timeout which shall be applied for read and write operations.

Adding a Channels

Hinzufügen eines neuen Allen-Bradley-Channels

To add a new Allen-Bradley Channel, please follow these steps:

  1. Add a Folder Node within the node Allen-Bradley Device/Channels, or right-click on the Allen-Bradley Device/Channels node and select Add Channel.
  2. In the Add Channel dialog, specify the settings for the Allen-Bradley connection.
  3. After clicking on “Save”, the channel node is created.
  4. You can start the channel by selecting the channel node and clicking the start button.

Variables

Within the node Variables you can create datapoint nodes which can be read and written from/to the Allen-Bradley PLC as tags.
The Value Type property must be set to the corresponding tag type. Currently the following tag types are supported:

Tag Type CoDaBix Type
SINT SByte or SByte-Array
USINT Byte or Byte-Array
INT Int16 or Int16-Array
UINT UInt16 or UInt16-Array
DINT Int32 or Int32-Array
UDINT UInt32 or UInt32-Array
LINT Int64 or Int64-Array
ULINT UInt64 or UInt64-Array
REAL Single or Single-Array

Note: Each signed/unsigned pendant of a datatype can also be used in place of the datatype. For example, SINT can also be used as Byte instead of SByte, but the MSB (most significant bit) will have a different interpretation, as is interpreted as sign bit for signed data types.

Path

The Path property of the node is used to specify the tag name and (for arrays) optionally the offset and the length of the data:

<TagName>, <Length>
Placeholder Description
<TagName> The full name of the tag.
If the tag is a program tag, it needs to be prefixed with Program:<Programmname>. using the corresponding program name.
If the tag is a structure, you can specify the name of the field to access after a dot (.).
If the tag (or a structure field) is an array, you can specify an array offset using the syntax [Offset].
<Length> If the tag is an array, you can specify the array length here. It will only be used for reading, because when writing an array, its length will be determined from the value that is written.

Examples

Value Type Path Meaning
Int16 Local:1:O.Data Data field (INT) of the digital output (Int16 contains bitmask of the 16 digital outputs (Digital Output Points))
Int16 Local:1:I.Data Data field (INT) of the digital input (Int16 contains bitmask of the 16 digital inputs (Digital Input Points))
Int32 MyControllerTag Controller Tag MyControllerTag (DINT)
Int32 Program:MainProgram.MyTag1.MyField1 From program MainProgram the tag MyTag1 (Structure) using field MyField1 (DINT)
Byte-Array Program:MainProgram.MyTag2, 20 From program MainProgram the tag MyTag2 (SINT[20]) with length 20 (range 0..20)
Byte-Array Program:MainProgram.MyTag2[2], 16 From program MainProgram the tag MyTag2 (SINT[20]) from index 2 with length 16 (range 2..18)
Byte-Array Program:MainProgram.MyTag3[4].MyField1[1], 5 From program MainProgram the tag MyTag3 (Structure[5]) at index 4 the field MyField1 (SInt[10]) from index 1 with length 5 (range 1..6)

The Allen-Bradley Device Plugin provides different status information depending on the layer to inspect. In general the channel-based diagnostic information is produced by the connection status of the channel to the PLC. The variable-based diagnostic information is produced during the read/write access of the different columns.

Channel

To monitor and diagnose the status of a Allen-Bradley Channel, take a look at the following image:

The image above depicts the Allen-Bradley Channel's Control Panel which displays all status relevant information. The control panel will automatically update its status information when a new status is available.

Status Circle

Color Meaning
The channel is stopped. Click the button to start it.
The channel is currently in the progress of starting or stopping or is waiting to establish a connection.
The channel is ready for doing read/write operations. You can stop it by clicking the button.
The channel is running, but the connection is currently in an error state. Please check the status text for more information.

Variables

To monitor and diagnose the status of the different variables, take a look at the variable's Status property displayed in CoDaBix. Use the button “Read actual Value” to read the values from the PLC and store the result into the variables.

Common error messages:

  • PLCTAG_ERR_NOT_FOUND: The tag was not found in the PLC. Check that the name is spelled correctly.
  • PLCTAG_ERR_BAD_PARAM: The type or syntax of the tag is not valid. Check the tag name and if the correct value type is used.
  • PLCTAG_ERR_TOO_LARGE: The read value cannot be stored in a variable of this type, because more data was returned than what fits into the type. Chose a value type which corresponds to the PLC type. If the tag is a structure, please specify the name of the field you want to access.
  • PLCTAG_ERR_OUT_OF_BOUNDS: It was tried to access array indexes that are out of the array bounds. Check the specified length and the offset of the array.
  • The operation has timed out.: The PLC access has exceeded a specific timeout, or the PLC isn't available.

Log file

All channel related status information is also logged into the channel-specific log file stored in the [LoggingFolder]. Each log file is named in the naming scheme Allen-Bradley Device.<DatabaseName>.log.

The content of such a log file can look as follows:

...
2018-04-11 11:32:37.0 +2: [Error] Error (Severity=High): Code=[-1], Text=[The operation has timed-out.], Details=[]
...

Like every device plugin the Allen-Bradley Device Plugin extends the basic CoDaBix Device Model.

Device

The plugin's device type AllenBradleyDevice also defines the AllenBradleyDeviceChannel and therefore extends the basic CodabixDevice and CodabixDeviceChannel entities. While the AllenBradleyDevice just represents a concretization of the CodabixDevice, the AllenBradleyDeviceChannel extends the CodabixDeviceChannel with the Allen-Bradley Variable Entities.

Channel

Each channel is handled by a channel worker which establishes a TCP socket connection to the PLC.

By default, the worker does not read any values. When a client or plugin requests a synchronous read of the channel's variables in CoDaBix (e.g. using the CoDaBix Web Configuration's function “Read actual value”), the channel worker reads them from the underlying PLC and then writes them into the corresponding CoDaBix Nodes.

Similarly, when a client or plugin writes values into the channel's variables, the channel worker will write those values to the underlying PLC.

To have an Allen-Bradley variable being read steadily, you can edit the Node in the CoDaBix Web Configuration and set “History Options” to Yes (which will create an internal subscription), or you can use e.g. a OPC UA Client connected to the OPC UA Server plugin and create a subscription for the Allen-Bradley variable Nodes. In these cases, the channel worker reads the variables from the PLC at a regular interval and, if the value of one of the variables has changed, writes the new value into the corresponding CoDaBix Node.

Folders

Content Path Usage
AssemblyFolder <CodabixInstallDir>\plugins\AllenBradleyDevicePlugin\ Contains the plugin's assembly file.
ConfigFolder <CodabixDataDir>\plugins\AllenBradleyDevicePlugin\ Contains the plugin's configuration file.
LoggingFolder <CodabixDataDir>\log\ Contains the plugin's log files.

Files

Type Path Usage
Assembly [AssemblyFolder]\CoDaBix.AllenBradleyDevicePlugin.dll The plugin's assembly file.
Logging [LoggingFolder]\Allen-Bradley Device.<ChannelName>.log The log file.

This Document

Date 2019-11-11
Version 1.0

Plugin

Name Allen-Bradley Device Plugin
Node /System/Devices/Allen-Bradley Device
Version 1.0.0

Assembly

Name CoDaBix.AllenBradleyDevicePlugin.dll
Date 2019-11-11
Version 1.0.0.0