Many consumers, including myself, have tapped into the ever-growing functionality of mobile internet. Many people leverage this infrastructure for their mobile phone. Others are beginning to use WiMAX connections for their PCs. Not to be out-done, PLCs are also capable of communicating through wireless data plans.
DMC just finished the proof-of-concept phase in a project using the new Siemens Simatic S7-1200 PLC and Siemens Sinaut MD720 GPRS GSM cellular modem. We were able to successfully send data from the PLC, through the cellular network, to the Siemens Sinaut Micro SC OPC server, and view the data on multiple OPC clients such as a WinCC Flexible HMI. We were also able to send data back to the PLC using the same connection. Additionally, the PLC is capable of sending SMS text messages through the modem.
This technology seems best suited for communicating with distributed PLCs in remote applications, where hard-wired networking is unavailable or not practical. Data logging, alarming, and parameterization are just a few valuable functions that can be performed remotely.
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