Be careful because it might appear easier than it actually is!
In the previous article, we tackled this issue, highlighting the difficulties that can arise in trying to network a machine: here, we’ll summarise what you can do to overcome these difficulties. If at all possible, we’d recommend that you have a technical partner to hand, but in the meantime, you can follow these steps, which will hopefully help you get back on track again:
1) Avoid Wi-Fi where possible. Although there is good coverage in the place where the machine is installed, there may be disturbances at certain times. If there are problems, it could be very difficult to tackle them.
2) Identify which system will acquire data from the machine (PC, Gateway, IIoT device, etc.) and note its IP address. You’ll need to communicate this, along with other data, to the supplier of the machine.
3) Activate a dialogue between the supplier of the machine and the internal IT manager, so as to define not only which IP addresses are needed (and how many of them are needed), but also to establish how the machine will access the Internet (for remote assistance) as well as finding a way to guarantee that the machine will be reachable by the system that will acquire the data.
4) Make sure that the supplier has all the information needed to configure the internal firewall/router (if any) or the PLC/CNC. At the very least, the following information should be provided to the supplier:
- The network parameters to be set up in the PLC / CNC of the machine: IP address, subnet mask, default gateway, DNS.
- IP address of the system that will interact with the machine to obtain data. This allows the supplier to limit access to the PLC / CNC of the machine for this system, avoiding exposing it to unnecessary risks.
5) With your technical partner, establish which internal element of the machine you need to interface with, and ask the supplier to show you where the mains connection socket of this element is located on the machine. Link up the cable with this socket.
That’s all. With these tricks up your sleeve, you can’t go wrong!