One of the most common questions I get from EtherNet/IP Automation manufacturers is on EtherNet/IP Production Testing.
This has been an issue for a long time. Probably since the first time a device was built with Modbus. And it continues to this day with Profibus, DeviceNet and now EtherNet/IP. With some of these buses you can buy an ISA card, a PCI card or a USB adapter.
The nice thing about those hardware solutions is that you can easily develop a Profibus, DeviceNet or other production test system using standard Visual C, Java or Visual Basic. These hardware devices usually come with well-defined software interfaces and sample programs.
But you can’t always count on it. I remember one time that I bought a German PCI card (yeah – it was a long time ago). The software interfaces all looked like this:
Void Echo (int a, int b, int c, double d, int e, int f);
The little documentation that I did have was in German. Hopefully if you buy one of these now you’ll get something useable.
But back to EtherNet/IP Production Testing. What’s the best way to do that? Well RTA has just released a tool just for production EtherNet/IP testing. It’s an EtherNet/IP Client with an example program that can reads a number of registers from a device and displays those registers in a sample window that you can customize.
You can use this tool to either read data out of a ControlLogix or an EtherNet/IP adapter. It’s a good solution when you need a quick and dirty EtherNet/IP Production test tool. Contact me if you need more detail.