Getting Started With NA External Devices


This article explains how to add external devices to NA project, and how to create mapping between external devices and NA variables.
To learn more about how to create mapping between NA and NJ within the same Sysmac Studio project, please read ‘Introduction To Mapping Variables on The NA’ article.

Adding External Devices

As well as working with devices that are within the same Sysmac project, it is possible to connect the NA to ‘External Devices’. External simply means not included in the same project. Therefore external devices can be other NJs or CJs.

To add an External Device to the project, go to 'Configuration and Setup' in Multiview Explorer, right click on 'Device References' and Add External Device:


Configuring an External Device

Once an External Device has been added to the project, you can select the type of device (NJ or CJ), and select the communication driver.
Selecting the communication driver will reveal the specific settings for that connection. The NA supports EthernetIP, FINS or a special connection to NJ. All are Ethernet based connections.

Once the communication configuration is complete (including IP Address, timeout etc), the variables can be added.

Device Variables

Regardless of communication driver selection, all of the following actions are performed in ‘Device Variables’ area :



There are several ways to work with variables on external devices, which will be explained in the following sections:

1. Online, importing variables/tags direct from the device
To import from a real device that is already connected to the network, click ‘Import’. The ‘Update’ button can be used later to refresh the list of variables known for this device. Import is available for EthernetIP and direct NJ communications. Import is not possible for a FINS based connection.

Note: Import will work only for the variables with publish only property selected both for CJ and NJ devices.

2. Copy and paste from Sysmac Studio
Using an instance of Sysmac Studio (separate project), it is possible to copy a list of variables/symbols and then paste directly into the variable list in the External Device.

3. Copy and paste to/from Excel
The Excel format is as shown on the below picture:

Note: When editing Excel spread sheet and pasting variables back to Sysmac Studio, variable name check is performed. When the same variable name is found, the new variable will be renamed and pasted in <existing name>_copy format.

4. Manually enter the tags

Right click in ‘Device Variable’ area to add variables manually

Note: When editing ‘AT’ field for FINS addresses the syntax should be in ‘D1.1’ format.

Mapping Variables

Once Device Variables configured they can be mapped with NA global variables.
Select ‘Variable Mapping’ and expand the device to display a complete list of variables on that device.



Variables can be created immediately for all the variables by right clicking on the device name and selecting ‘Create Device Variables’, be aware that this can have a communications performance impact when there are many device variables. Variables can also be created individually by clicking on each variable and selecting ‘Create Device Variable’.

Once the variables are mapped, clicking on ‘Global Variables’ in the Data section will show the complete list of NA global variables. Notice that the data types have automatically being mapped to the equivalent NA (.NET) data types.

To learn more about NJ to NA data types alignment please read 'Introduction To NA Data Types And Variables' article.


See Also:

Introduction to the NA series HMI