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New cellular router adds Modbus for M2M data collection

John Cox, Network World | March 16, 2011
A new cellular router adds support for the Modbus protocol, to simplify connections between central control systems and remote monitoring devices.

The new unit makes for simpler wireless deployment, and simpler Modbus networking, says Mahesh Patel, Sixnet's director of product management, wireless solutions. The new router can replace separate boxes for device management and for Modbus gateway functions.

"You just need the physical inputs [from sensors, meters, PLCs] into the Industrial Pro Plus: it becomes a single polling point for a SCADA system at the remote site," he says. "Our router does the endpoint data collection, keeps the data in its registers, and then passes it on to the SCADA server in response to a request."

With the new software development kit, programmers can create scripts to act on the data collected by the router, for example, sending back only the changed data, or triggering a valve to turn on or off in response to threshold data value in a pipeline or tank.

The Sixnet SixView Manager is the company's existing management application to configure, secure and administer the remote routers.

The IndustrialPro Plus router will be available in "early Q2" (perhaps April). Pricing is not yet announced but will be "incrementally more expensive" than the current model which has MSRP ranging from $439 to $599, depending on configuration and options.


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