How to access PLC remotely over Internet

Olga Weis

Contents

  1. About PLC controller
  2. Remote access to PLC
  3. Connect to PLC remotely with FlexiHub
Access PLC remotely

About PLC controller


PLC is the acronym for a programmable logic controller, which is sometimes also referred to as a programmable controller. A PLC is essentially a small and rugged digital computer that is often used to control automated industrial manufacturing equipment and processes. You will find PLCs in industrial settings where reliability is a high priority such as assembly lines where they are employed to control robots and other automated devices. A PLC is easily programmable and can be useful in identifying errors in automated processes.

PLCs are one of the building blocks of industrial automation systems. In some instances, they are used as a stand-alone computer to control a piece of industrial machinery. They are also often used in SCADA systems where they are connected to a network and controlled by a server. SCADA and HMI software control the PLCs when used in this manner.

PLC access by human operators is done with specialized software known as a Human-Machine Interface (HMI). This software gives the operators the ability to monitor, configure, and control the PLCs. Based on the input to the PLCs, alarms can be set to notify personnel of a problem with the automated system. HMIs come in various forms. A basic HMI may be just a simple system of buttons and lights allowing a human operator to perform different system functions.

More complicated systems use an HMI that relies on network connected PLCs interfacing with a computer running dedicated monitoring software.

The basic structure of most industrial automation systems is comprised of several components. These components are sensors, automated control of mechanical devices and interfaces to enable operator interaction with the system. Physical properties such as temperature are monitored by the sensors which convert the collected data into electrical signals. The signals are then routed by logical controllers and in response, devices may be turned on or off. The human operators monitor the interfaces and can take corrective action and override the automated controllers if required. Sensors, actuators, logic controllers, and human interfaces make up the standard model for automated control systems used in any setting.

Remote access to PLC


The majority of PLCs use Ethernet protocols or enact communication via built-in ports that employ USB, RS-232, RS-422, or RS-485 interfaces.

The configuration of a PLC is usually done through its serial or USB port. Most PLC manufacturers design their PLCs with a default port and many of them also come equipped with an Ethernet port as well. Network connection is enabled through the Ethernet port which allows PLC software running on servers to interact with the PLCs. This allows communication between the PLCs, controlling servers and the network connected devices that they are monitoring

Remote PLC access is achieved by virtualizing your connections.

FlexiHub

Windows, macOS, Linux, Android
4.8 Rank based on 78+ users

FlexiHub is an excellent tool for working with remote PLCs.

FlexiHub

It is a software package that allows your computer to access any attached equipment that contains a serial port. It is a simple solution to gain remote PLC access without the need for additional hardware or cabling.

Connect to PLC remotely with FlexiHub


Without network access, PLC control software is not very useful. That is where FlexiHub comes into play. It is a great software solution that was specifically developed to allow access to remote RS-232/485/422 and USB ports. You can use this application on any type of network including LAN, WAN, or IP to share network connected serial or USB ports.

These simple steps will allow you to access your PLCs remotely:

  1. Register for a FlexiHub account. After registration, you can begin a free trial to test the software ability to connect to remote devices.

  2. Install FlexiHub on a physical or virtual device computer that requires remote access to serial ports. Start the program and sign in to your FlexiHub account.

  3. Install FlexiHub on the remote machine that you want to access remotely. Launch the application and sign into the same account that you used on your other machines.

  4. Connections to the remote PLCs is now enabled.

It’s really that easy. Using FlexiHub makes it possible to remotely access and manage network attached PLCs.

FlexiHub

Requirements: Windows XP/2003/2008/Vista/7/8/10/Server 2012
Size: 6.66MB
Version: 3.3.11431 ()
User rating: (4.8 based on 78+ users )
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