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Module puts any machine on the Web
Published:  01 March, 2003

Module puts any machine on the Web

A British company has developed a communications module which, it claims, will allow you to monitor almost any item of equipment via a Web browser without needing any programming or HTML knowledge.

Gloucestershire-based Logic Machine Controls says that its iSite module can connect almost any machine to an Ethernet network, while its built-in Web server can be configured to show machine parameters on user-defined Web pages. It can also send emails or text messages when specified conditions occur on the machine.

The module (shown above) connects to the machine via 16 digital inputs or three serial links. Users can assign messages to individual inputs or groups of inputs. These messages are shown on a Web page, which can be accessed from any computer on the network via a standard Web browser.

Configuring the displays is said to be as easy as filling out a form on a Web page. An application can be set up without specialist programming knowledge, while users with an elementary knowledge of Web-page design can upload pages to the iSite module to customise the presentation of information. The module can be used for tasks such as emulating machine control panels for remote viewing, archiving process data, and monitoring production.

Logic Machine Controls, whose background is in control systems for extrusion machines, is assembling a library of PLC and motor drive protocol drivers which users will be able select from a menu.

The module allows up to 64 different messages, as well as encoded analogue values, to be displayed using text or graphic images. When the iSite is off-line, it logs its input signals so that nothing is missed. The module measures 140 x 105 x 45mm.

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