Ok, so lets imagine this common everyday scenario that field service engineers face. You’ve been called out to the take a look at machine thats playing up somehow. But all the sensors look like they light up correctly in the cycle of the machine ? You have run out of ideas on where to look next.
Youre not familiar with the machines software, but Jeff in the office is. He uses Siemens TIA portal all the time. He uses it to design and maintain the software for the machine. If only there was an easy way for Jeff to log in to the machine and have a look why the machine is hanging at a certain point in the cycle ? There certainly is.
Your company has been smart enough to provide you with a PLCLINK IR300 intelligent router as part of your field service engineers toolkit. Its small and light, and takes up hardly any room in your toolbag. The IR300 is affordable enough to issue to all the field service engineers at your company.
Now all you have to do if hook this up to the Siemens S7-1200 plc inside the machines control panel and give it an internet connection.
You can then connect the IR300 with a patch lead to the machines LAN and power it up from a usb power bank or an available USB port on the HMI or somewhere.
The IR300 can tether to your iPhone/Android using USB or Wifi to get an internet connection. Once the IR300 has internet access from your phone, it automatically makes a connection to the PLCLINK cloud service and is ready for Jeff to make a connection into it.
Good Old Jeff
Jeff has all the OpenVPN profiles for all the IR300’s the company has issued to its field service engineers. He selects the one for the IR300 you have with you and is online in a matter of seconds. Jeff is able to work with the machine software as if he was onsite with you, and in not time at all, he has discovered that even though a sick inductive sensor is lit up correctly, it is not providing an input back at the s7-1200 PLC controlling the machine.
After a quick sensor swap and confirmation from Jeff back at the office using TIA portal, the machine is fixed and ready to hand back to the customer.
The customer is happy because the downtime was kept to a minimum. Your company is happy because the problem was identified and repaired in the same field service engineer visit. And Jeff is happy because he didn’t have to go to site that evening because he didn’t want to miss the footy.
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