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  1. ahmed2897
  2. Proficloud
  3. Friday, 20 December 2019

Hi, 

I am sorry if my question was not clear or if the forum is just for PLCnext controllers. My university are using the AXC 1050 controllers, and there is not much details regarding proficloud for it compared to PLCnext. Also PLCnext store applications such as proficloud writer supports newer controllers. I can only use PCworx. So what can be the alternative solution for setting a communication with a cloud through MQTT protocol? Is there any workflow application similar to one used by LOSANT, which can be used in proficloud.net? I am still learning. 

 

Thanks 

Ahmed

Martin PLCnext Team Accepted Answer Pending Moderation
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Hi Ahmed,

You can send data to the Proficloud Times Series Data service from any PLC, including AXC 1050, using a Cloud IoT Gateway. After that, you can view the time series data on the Proficloud TSD Analytics dashboard.

PLCnext Control devices, like AXC F 2152 can send data directly to Proficloud, and so do not need the Gateway.

Also PLCnext store applications such as proficloud writer supports newer controllers.

Correct, the PLCnext Store only supports PLCnext Technology controllers like AXC F 2152. The AXC 1050 is based on our earlier control technology, and so is not a PLCnext Technology controller (sorry).

So what can be the alternative solution for setting a communication with a cloud through MQTT protocol?

In this case the only option is to send data from the AXC 1050 through another device that runs the cloud client software, for example an MQTT Client. You can use a Windows or Linux-based PC for this, or something like the AXC F 2152 that has MQTT Client capability.

Is there any workflow application similar to one used by LOSANT, which can be used in proficloud.net?

No, not at the moment.

if the forum is just for PLCnext controllers

Yes, this forum is aimed at users of PLCnext Technology, but we are happy to direct you to the support channel for other Phoenix Contact products. If your university is part of Phoenix Contact's "Edunet" program, then there should be a Phoenix Contact representative in your country who provided the PLCs, and who can provide technical support. Otherwise, you can contact the Phoenix Contact office in your country and ask for technical support.

Hope this helps.

~ Martin.

 

 

Phoenix Contact Electronics Headquarters - PLCnext Runtime Product Management and Support

  1. more than a month ago
  2. Proficloud
  3. # 1
ahmed2897 Accepted Answer Pending Moderation
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Hi, 

Thanks for the reply I appreciate it. As you mentioned I need a gateway for the AXC 1050, which in my case using Proficloud device and a coupler? Photo attached. What are the main purpose of these two devices. 

"only option is to send data from the AXC 1050 through another device that runs the cloud client software"; another device you mean the gateway attached or a PC that runs MQTT client software such as  MQTT CLI...etc? So essentially I need to install MQTT client software on my PC where as mosquitto for exp. would be a broker to pub/sub to it? Hence I will be able to log data of my I/O modules to cloud for monitoring? Then proficloud.net is only for dashboards where I can subscribe to broker based on JSON strings? 

 

"Phoenix Contact representative " I am studying in uk, so should I contact info@phoenixcontact.co.uk regarding PCWORX and AXC 1050. But it is fine if I ask about proficloud here? 

Thanks again, 

Ahmed 

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  1. more than a month ago
  2. Proficloud
  3. # 2
Martin PLCnext Team Accepted Answer Pending Moderation
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Hi Ahmed,

As you mentioned I need a gateway for the AXC 1050, which in my case using Proficloud device and a coupler? Photo attached.

No, I am afraid that these devices cannot act as a gateway to the Proficloud TSD service.

What are the main purpose of these two devices.

Those two devices are the AXC CLOUD PRO (on the top), and the the CLOUD COUPLER-PRO. They are not designed to be used with the Proficloud Times Series Data (TSD) service. Instead, these two devices work together to implement a completely different Proficloud service, in the following way:

The AXC CLOUD PRO is similar (in some ways) to a standard Profinet Bus Coupler. With a standard Profinet bus coupler, you attach I/O modules to the right side of the coupler, and the Bus Coupler then provides the interface between the I/O modules, and a Profinet controller (like an AXC 1050 PLC), via a Profinet network.

With the AXC CLOUD PRO, you also attach I/O modules to the right side of the "coupler". The AXC CLOUD PRO then provides the interface between the I/O modules and a Profinet controller (like an AXC 1050 PLC), but in this case the Profinet network can be extended through the internet. So, the AXC 1050 controller and the I/O can be located on opposite sides of the world. To achieve this, the AXC CLOUD PRO must be connected to the internet through an Internet router. The Profinet Controller (AXC 1050) must also be connected to the internet, via the CLOUD COUPLER-PRO. So the network would look like:

AXC 1050 --- CLOUD COUPLER-PRO --- (your own internet router) --- [internet] --- (your own internet router) --- AXC CLOUD PRO with I/O modules attached.

The Cloud devices must be registered in your Proficloud account to set up this network.

After that, the AXC 1050 can read inputs and write outputs connected to the AXC CLOUD PRO, as if they were attached to a local Profinet Bus Coupler.

This video also explains this concept:

https://video.phoenixcontact.com/gwis/film/2015/15_2_071_02_Best_Practice_Proficloud_en_uk.mp4

Note that this Proficloud service is completely unrelated to the Proficloud "Time Series Data" (TSD) service. "Proficloud TSD" involves logging time-series data to a cloud database, and then visualising that data on a web-based dashboad. For that, you will need either an AXC F 2152 controller, or a Cloud IoT Gateway for your AXC 1050 controller.

another device you mean the gateway attached or a PC that runs MQTT client software such as mosquitto, MQTT CLI...etc?

Yes, the "cloud client" will depend on what cloud service you are using, for example:

  • If you want to push data to your Proficloud TSD database, then you will need an AXC F 2152 or a Cloud IoT Gateway for the AXC 1050. Note that Proficloud TSD does not use the MQTT protocol to send data to the Proficloud database.
  • If you want to use an MQTT Broker (either local or cloud-based), then you will need to run MQTT Client software on either an AXC F 2152, or on a PC, or on another device than can act as an MQTT Client. You will then need to set up that MQTT Client device to collect the data from the AXC 1050, and publish the data to the MQTT broker. The Proficloud TSD service does not provide an MQTT Broker, so you cannot publish data to your Proficloud TSD database from an MQTT client.

 

so should I contact info@phoenixcontact.co.uk regarding PCWORX and AXC 1050

Yes, there are people in Telford who will be able to help you with PC WORX, AXC 1050 and the Proficloud devices and services.

We can answer questions here about the two Proficloud services mentioned above (I have moved this thread to the "Proficloud" topic). Our Proficloud experts should be able to answer any questions that are too hard for me, but please be aware that (due to the Christmas break) there may be some delay in getting answer to some technical questions.

~ Martin.

 

 

Phoenix Contact Electronics Headquarters - PLCnext Runtime Product Management and Support

  1. more than a month ago
  2. Proficloud
  3. # 3
ahmed2897 Accepted Answer Pending Moderation
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Hi, 

Thanks again for your descriptive reply that solved my various misconceptions on this technology. As the gateway serves a vital concept for processing data to the cloud for monitoring purposes as TSD. Where as the two devices attached are used for remote controlling of the actual field devices let's say through ethernet connection. The task I was given in brief was: 

"An overall architecture for the proposed system is to be developed to use a set of sensors and actuators in the chosen application system, develop a local controller using a PLC system, use Profinet to connect the local sensor-actuator data to ProfiCloud, develop a digital twin on the cloud system and investigate the implementation of monitoring and diagnostics using an appropriate technique"

As for the digital twin on the cloud system for monitoring purposes I guess cannot be carried out without the IoT gateway to actually gather real-time data from various sensors..etc? Or is it still possible?

 

Thanks ,

Ahmed 

  1. more than a month ago
  2. Proficloud
  3. # 4
Martin PLCnext Team Accepted Answer Pending Moderation
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Hi Ahmed,

As the gateway serves a vital concept for processing data to the cloud for monitoring purposes as TSD. Where as the two devices attached are used for remote controlling of the actual field devices let's say through ethernet connection.

Yes, that's correct.

use Profinet to connect the local sensor-actuator data to ProfiCloud

OK, that sounds like Proficloud TSD, so you would need either an AXC F 2152 controller, or a Cloud IoT Gateway. However ...

develop a digital twin on the cloud system

I am not aware that Proficloud has features that could satisfy this part of the brief ... at least nothing like the features in products like Azure IoT and AWS IoT. I suppose it depends on what your definition of "digital twin" is.

As for the digital twin on the cloud system for monitoring purposes I guess cannot be carried out without the IoT gateway to actually gather real-time data from various sensors..etc? Or is it still possible?

Well, using the Cloud IoT Gateway you can gather real-time data from various sensors, send that to the Proficloud TSD service, and view/analyse that data. But a "digital twin" involves a lot more than that, and that is more than Proficloud currently offers. So I guess you may need to discuss this with the project owner - do they want to use the Proficloud TSD service and relax (or re-define) the "digital twin" requirement, or do they want to use an alternative cloud service like Azure IoT or AWS IoT to implement the digital twin functionality?

===========================

Another possibility is that the project owner wasn't thinking of the Proficloud TSD service when they wrote the brief, but was instead thinking of the other Proficloud service we discussed - that is, exchanging data between a Profinet Controller and a Profinet device through the "Proficloud". If you read the brief like that, then perhaps the intention is for you to write your own Proficloud service that implements Digital Twin functionality? This would be a very challenging software development project, because you'd effectively be trying to replicate at least some of what Microsoft and Amazon have done in their cloud services. But if that is the intention, then that Proficloud service would be similar to the the Weather service or the Calc service offered by Phoenix Contact. When you subscribe to these services, you can add a "Weather" or a "Calc" device to your Profinet Controller (AXC 1050), and from the Controller's point of view these look and behave just like physical Profinet devices. But in fact they are "virtual" devices hosted in the cloud.

It is possible to write your own Proficloud services using the Proficloud Java SDK, but this requires advanced Java programming skills, and would require a lot of support from the Phoenix Contact Cloud Services team. I don't expect that this is the road you want to go down but, if so, let us know.

~ Martin.

 

Phoenix Contact Electronics Headquarters - PLCnext Runtime Product Management and Support

  1. more than a month ago
  2. Proficloud
  3. # 5
ahmed2897 Accepted Answer Pending Moderation
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Hi, 

Just forwarded this discussion to my supervisor waiting for his reply. This is a portion from the description of the project: 

- This project aligns with the Faculty priority area of Industry 4.0 systems including IoT concepts, Digital Twinning and Programmable Logic Controllers extensively used in automation industry. 

- The project should deliver a working prototype of an Industry 4.0 system that can showcase the capabilities of our expertise. It provides an opportunity to develop an architecture that can be used with various controllers (Siemens, Phoenix Contact et al.) for a variety of application areas (CP Lab from Festo, Pneumatic systems, Conveyor systems etc.).

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

These are the description of enhancement to student experience listed in the project brief: 

 -- This project will provide an opportunity to gain valuable experience in implementing Industry 4.0 systems including IoT concepts, Digital Twinning and Programmable Logic Controllers extensively used in automation industry. 

-- Students should get industry focussed learning experience by using the latest hardware and software from leading companies such as Siemens, Phoenix Contact, Wago, and 3S. 

-- Students will be working with real-world systems and implementing solutions on state of the art software tools.

From the third point I guess they want me to implement a software based solution on proficloud? How that can be achievable as my background is electrical and electronic engineering. Not experienced in software development. But it is MSc research project for Electronic smart systems. (Cloud-based monitoring of Automation Systems). Will that be through Proficloud JAVA SDK? Replicating Siemens solutions on digital twinning will be possible for example? 

 

Thanks, 

Ahmed 

 

  1. more than a month ago
  2. Proficloud
  3. # 6
Martin PLCnext Team Accepted Answer Pending Moderation
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Hi Ahmed,

On the topic of digital twins, I'm fairly certain you won't be able to fulfil that part of the brief with just the Proficloud services we have been discussing. In my opinion (and I might not be correct), you will probaby need to look at "state of the art software tools" from other companies - e.g. Microsoft Azure IoT or Amazon AWS IoT - for a digital twin solution. Phoenix Contact doesn't have a direct offering in that area, although with PLCs like AXC F 2152 we make it (reasonably) simple to integrate with the digital twin features in third-party cloud services like Azure, AWS, etc.

When you get in touch with someone in our UK office in Telford, they should be able to give a second opinion, and perhaps offer other ideas.

~ Martin.

 

Phoenix Contact Electronics Headquarters - PLCnext Runtime Product Management and Support

  1. more than a month ago
  2. Proficloud
  3. # 7
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