How To Link Two Or More CX-Supervisor Runtimes Using FinsGateway
In large applications it can sometimes be necessary to link multiple PCs each running a CX-Supervisor runtime application. This has previously been achieved using the CX-Supervisor communications control. This inter-runtime communication achieved using DCOM which can be problematic and prone to difficulties with authentication between machines.
CX-Supervisor now ships with a copy of FinsGateway 2003 which allows a different way of sharing data between CX-Supervisor runtimes. Each CX-Supervisor runtime can communicate with a FinsGateway 'server' residing anywhere on the network.
This article shows how to configure this and use it.
First of all, in addition to an installation of CX-Supervisor, you must install FinsGateway or Sysmac Gateway. FinsGateway 2003 can be found on the CX-Supervisor 3.x original disk. This must be installed on every machine you wish to run the runtime software on. Note you must have purchased a copy of CX-Supervisor Runtime including a USB dongle for each runtime you install.
Once installed, configure FinsGateway with the correct network settings. First of all Start FGW 2003. This will be in the start menu if installed from the CX-Supervisor disk. If you are running Sysmac Gateway, you must first start the Sysmac Gateway Console and choose FinsGateway Setting from the 'Control Panel' menu.
Once FGW has started you will be presented with the following window:
If the Ethernet 'unit' will is in 'Stopped' state it should be started. Select the ETN_UNIT from under services and press the 'Start' button, the red X will disappear:
You can now configure your ETN unit by clicking 'Networks and Units' and selecting your 'Local Network' and pressing the 'Properties' button:
This will display the following dialog:
This dialog has multiple tabs used to configure the settings for the ethernet unit in FGW.
First ensure you are using the correct adaptor, click on the 'Communication Unit Settings' tab. Most computers now have multiple ethernet devices so make sure this is set to the correct device - usually the wired ethernet adaptor on your PC. Additionally in this tab, you may need to set the 'FINS-IP conversion' to 'IP Table + Automatic Generation'. If you are using a Class C subnet mask (255.255.255.0) you probably won't need to change the 'FINS-IP Conversion'.
Now select the network settings tab. This tab must be configured for your particular network settings. In this example the network is configured to be number 4, the local node address to be 59 (the last part of the IP address for this PC), the communication unit number is set automatically by FGW - 17 in this case.
You must now set up the UDP nodes tab so FGW knows about this node (in this case node 59 and the IP 10.59.50.59) and any other devices or PCs you are communicating with - this case is communicating with another FGW PC - Node 36. You will also need to add the IP address and nodes of any devices you are communicating with such as PLCs.
New nodes are added by pressing the 'Add' button and filling in the correct details in the dialog:
Double clicking an existing node allows you to edit this configuration.
Note: Adding UDP nodes is not always necessary, as with FINS-IP Conversion above, it depends on the subnet mask you use on your network. If you use a Class C subnet mask (255.255.255.0) you don't need to add them.
You have now finished configuring this FGW node. Once you have pressed OK you will be asked to restart the Ethernet port for the new configuration to be set.
You must now repeat this procedure on any other FGW nodes you wish to communicate with.
You must now decide which FGW node you wish to be the Server. The example uses Node 59 which will be the server FGW where all CX-Supervisor runtimes share their data.
You can repeat this setup for multiple PCs making sure the each client PC has the Server PC in its 'UDP nodes' and that the 'Server' has each client in the 'UDP nodes.
Setting up CX-Supervisor to Communicate with FGW
You can now start CX-Supervisor developer and add this FGW node as a new device. Click on the 'Add New Device' Icon and choose to add a 'FinsGateway' device. This will automatically set the Network Type as FinsGateway. You should now click settings and add the Network and Node numbers of the PC already set up. Using the full FGW network address rather than the local node ensures that ALL CX-Supervisor applications can have the same configuration for communicating with the same server FGW.
This 'virtual PLC' can now be treated as any other PLC in CX-Supervisor, you can simply add points in the normal way using the Point Editor:
Once running, any references to this point on ANY correctly configured machine on the network will all communicate with the same points. It should be noted that if more than one user changes the value of the same memory area at the same time, the results could be confusing for users. Users should be aware of this and if possible applications should check status flags and restrict access to certain points if sharing is likely to be an issue.