June 19th, 2013
KE SHOW JUNE 2013
It’s no secret that I like to talk. Some people say that I’m
a ham. Actually I like to write more than I like to talk but occasionally
getting up in front of a group of Control Engineers is kind of fun.
I had an opportunity to do just that a few weeks at the
Kendall Electric Network Expo in Grand Rapids. This was a huge event with about
300 attendees from all over Michigan. Rockwell did a bunch of presentations on the
basic tenets of EtherNet/IP
and general network infrastructure components. A few other companies did
product presentations – describing why their product is so incredibly slick.
I didn’t do that even though I have products that are worth
bragging about. For example, our 460ETCMM
easily connects a group of Modbus slave devices to a Rockwell PLC – yes,
any of them. That’s pretty cool. It has security, email, alarming, an automatic
mapping feature and a lot more. And there’s no Windows tool you need to keep
But I didn’t brag on it, though I could have… Instead I
focused on delivering a roundup of the way that people are moving data from the
PLC environment to the enterprise environment.
I started out by describing a couple of really interesting
Cisco projects that we will have 50 Billion
Internet devices by 2020. They’ll be collecting data on everything from soil to
space and lots more in between.
MES software is growing rapidly. 50% growth
projected over the next 4 years.
More tools to process the data.
More regulations and government “requests” for
data and information on our processes
So we have more data, more tools to process the data and
more demand for information than ever before. And a lot of that information is
in the PLC systems on the factory floor.
But how do we get that information to the Enterprise? I
covered a lot of the ways. Here’s few:
RSLinx™ – Rockwells premium product for
interfacing to PLC networks.
OPC – the traditional way of moving data from
factory floor systems into the PC environment where it can be mapped into
XML – ASCII based files that can be quickly and
easily transferred to many Enterprise programs. And since this generally goes
out more than comes in, you can do this very securely.
FTP – Transferring files around between the
Enterprise and the Factory Floor systems. FTP is great for things like recipes
but you usually need to map the data in a proprietary way.
The point of my talk was that all these kinds of things are
fine but none of them does the job the way it should be done. Too many times we
settle for putting an insecure, unreliable, unstable Windows PC in the factory floor environment to collect data and then send
it out another Ethernet port to some Enterprise computer. That’s just wrong on
so many levels.
What I told my audience was that OPC UA is going to change
all that. And if you don’t know what UA is yet, you really need to read my
book. It’s like $16 on Amazon. Here’s the link: http://www.amazon.com/OPC-UA-Overview-Embedded-Programming/dp/1482375885/ref=pd_sxp_f_pt
It’s a really easy read. There’s just enough information in
the book to whet your whistle on UA and get some of the technical papers that
have been done.
Be careful out there,
May 6th, 2013
I had an interesting phone conversation with a guy this morning on EtherNet/IP and how to use it. It’s very similar to a lot of the calls that I’ve taken over the years.
With EtherNet/IP, The first thing I always do is to define the terms so that we know we are talking about the same things. There is so much confusion about how the EtherNet/IP devices are labeled that I always have to clear that up first.
For the record, an EtherNet/IP Adapter which is also sometimes called an EtherNet/IP Slave or an EtherNet/IP Server, is the END DEVICE. That’s the device that is some kind of sensor or actuator. It is a valve block, drive or gateway like the Modbus TCP to EtherNet/IP device converter. The Adapter has the inputs and outputs.
The Scanner is the other end. That’s the controller side and it collects inputs from one or more Adapters, processes logic, sets outputs and transmits those outputs to the Adapters. Scanners are also known as Clients or even Masters. An Adapter is usually connected to just one Scanner.
Any device can be a Scanner. For example, you can send EtherNet/IP Adapter data to a Modbus RTU Master using a Modbus RTU to EtherNet/IP device converter. That device is an EtherNet/IP Scanner in a little black box.
So the guy this morning wants to build an application in VB and he wants to connect his application to a couple of Drives. All well and good. The problem right away is that he doesn’t want to spend a lot of money.
With EtherNet/IP it’s hard to avoid that. I usually give guys like him a couple of options. One, he can get an OPC Server and use standard Microsoft interfaces to access the drive data. That’s not always inexpensive and ties him to a MS environment. Many, many end users want as few MS devices on the factory floor as possible. There’s also some configuration hassles around OPC and training issues. OPC works well but there is an administrative cost to it.
A second option is to use a DLL. That’s not a bad approach. The interfaces are straightforward but the cost is similar to an OPC driver. You do avoid all that administrative hassle and issues with updates to Microsoft and people unintentionally screwing up the OPC driver (happens a lot).
But the question I always get to in the end is “Why EtherNet/IP?”. That kind of stuns them for a second. Aren’t I one of the EtherNet/IP gurus? Don’t I advocate it all the time on YouTube and in Blogs and in my talks? Yes, all true but that doesn’t mean it’s the be-all end-all.
The question I ask in simple systems like this is “Why don’t you just use Modbus TCP?” Modbus TCP is supported on lots and lots of drives. I am willing to bet that 95% of drives that support EtherNet/IP will support Modbus TCP. In simple systems, it is just as fast and just as easy to use. In fact, I would argue that writing speed references to a register in a Modbus TCP drive is easier than writing the assemblies of an EtherNet/IP drive.
It’s certainly cheaper and it can be embedded right in your VB code. It’s simple enough for most programmers to do on their own. If you don’t want to build it, it’s pretty inexpensive to buy and you might even find it for free. And you have zero administrative nightmares and can run it anywhere you can run your VB code.
The only time you really have to have EtherNet/IP is if you are in a RA environment and need to communicate with one of their PLCs or the device you are talking to gives you no other option.
In all other cases, it pays to investigate alternatives to EtherNet/IP.
April 26th, 2013
TCP/IP STACKS PART 3
In this blog I am going to discuss a little known flaw in a
lot of current EtherNet/IP
devices that causes problems for lots of EtherNet/IP Adapter device
When an EtherNet/IP controller opens an EtherNet/IP
connection it does that by first opening a TCP connection and then opening an
UDP I/O connection. The TCP connection is used to configure and instantiate the
I you’re and old timer, you’ll recognize that this is very
similar to what was done in DeviceNet. In DeviceNet we have Unconnected Message
connections. Those were special connections that did nothing more than instantiate
The problem that shows up in a lot of EtherNet/IP Adapter
devices is that the TCP connection is sometimes never closed. That’s okay if
the I/O connection continues to live. The controller is never going to use that
The problem occurs if the controller is disconnected.
Someone might power down the controller or pull the cable out of the Adapter,
the Controller or the switch. When that happens, the original TCP connection
remains alive. The I/O connection by specification must terminate due to a
timeout but there is no equivalent requirement for the TCP connection. It stays
alive and keeps any resources (RAM) that it had previously.
On a Controller power on or a reconnection, the Controller
opens a new TCP connection. The Adapter device allocates a new set of resources
to the TCP connection. That connection is used until the I/O connection is
instantiated and now you have two TCP connections.
If this happens again (a reconnection or controller power
cycle) – and remember this can takes months – eventually your Adapter device
runs out of resources. At that point, it refuses to connect to the controller
and you get “the call”.
Your customer says, it works fine for a couple of months but
eventually it locks up and I have to power cycle it. And you start tearing your
hair out over this intermittent problem.
One of the reasons we know about this bug is that it
happened to us on our Ethernet
Device Converters for ControlLogixs PLCs. We had
devices that worked fine for a while but eventually froze up. We traced it to
this very problem.
RTA is part of a working group at the ODVA that is making
the effort to incorporate some new technology into the EtherNet/IP specification
to resolve this problem. That effort will probably not get accepted until
sometime late in 2014 or even 2015.
In the meantime, contact us if you have this problem or want
to avoid it. We have some work arounds that we can give you to avoid that dreaded
intermittent failure of your EtherNet/IP device.
April 25th, 2013
TCP/IP Stacks are crucial to the operation of your EtherNet/IP, Profinet IO or Modbus TCP application. A stack that functions incorrectly is going to cause you substantial field problems. In the worst cases, it may give you intermittent problems and you know how difficult those are to solve.
AT RTA we have detected flaws in a number of stacks used in industrial applications. We’ve found problems stacks used my leading manufacutures. In cases where we have access to the vendors TCP/IP Stack source code, we just go ahead and fix the problems. But when we don’t, there is no easy resolution and if your device is dependent on that vendor, you are really at their mercy. We recently had a customer use Keil and a bug in their TCP/IP implementation cost our customer about 6 weeks.
Your best bet is to contact us before starting to design your EtherNet/IP Adapter, Modbus TCP Server or Profinet IO Device. We’ll let you know if we have identified any known flaws in that flavor of TCP/IP Stack. For some processors, we have found favorites that seem to work very well and we’ll be glad to let you know what stacks have been successful in other EtherNet/IP or Profinet IO projects.
For EtherNet/IP, there is an entire section of the ODVA specification that lists the TCP/IP Stack requirements. That specification details exactly what is required for minimal support for EtherNet/IP. You can get that from the ODVA or contact me and I will forward that section of the specification to you.
The requirements listed in that document are pretty basic:
· Internet Protocol (IP version 4) (RFC 791)
· User Datagram Protocol (UDP) (RFC 768)
· Transmission Control Protocol (TCP) (RFC 793)
· Address Resolution Protocol (ARP) (RFC 826)
· Internet Control Messaging Protocol (ICMP) (RFC 792)
· Internet Group Management Protocol (IGMP) (RFC 1112 & 2236)
· IEEE 802.3 (Ethernet) as defined in RFC 894
Essentially what that part of the specification says is that a device must support the IP, UDP, ARP and other protocols. The RFC is the Internet specification for that protocol. For example, RFC 826 describes exactly how the ARP (Address Resolution Protocol) must function.
That’s fine as far as it goes but it doesn’t really give you a mechanism to check your TCP/IP Stack against that specification. For the most part you are going to have to rely on your vendor to give you assurances that each of these protocols meets the relative TCP/IP Stack RFC.
But as always, your best is to always contact RTA to identify the best TCP/IP Stack for your EtherNet/IP or Profinet IO implementation.
I’ll look forward to hearing from you,
April 23rd, 2013
TCP STACKS – The Evil That Can Destroy Your EtherNet/IP Project
Note: This is Part 1 of two blogs on TCP/IP Stacks
I am often asked why RTA doesn’t supply our own TCP/IP stack. Many of our customers are developing EtherNet/IP applications and need a TCP/IP Stack for EtherNet/IP or a TCP/IP Stack for Modbus TCP or even a TCP/IP Stack for Profinet IO. That’s a fair question. Honest Answer: it’s really impractical and costly to do that. Let me explain.
A TCP/IP stack is the software that provides the basics of Ethernet operation. It is a suite of protocols and software that implement all the abbreviations we kick around every day; HTTP, TCP, UDP, PING and all the rest.
The TCP/IP Stack is the link between every single one of your applications including your web browser and email and the RJ45 plug in the back of your computer. It provides all the know how to make connections with other devices, route messages through an Ethernet network, packetize large streams of data and much more. The TCP/IP Stack is critical software not only for email and web browsing but for EtherNet/IP, Profinet IO and Modbus TCP.
At RTA we use uCoS and the TCP/IP stack inherent in it for all our Ethernet Gateways. For example, we have a box that moves data between a Modbus Client device like a Modicon PLC and Ethernet TCP. Both those protocols use the same uCoS TCP/IP stack to make the TCP/IP connection and transfer data.
If you think about this for a minute, you’ll see why a TCP/IP Stack is not directly adaptable from one piece of hardware to the next. The TCP/IP Stack has to understand exactly what kind of hardware you have in your computer and how to transfer a message back and forth to that hardware. At the lowest levels a TCP/IP Stack builds a message and then must send it bit by bit to an Ethernet MAC (Media Access Controller) after which it will be converted to electrical signals by a PHY (Physical Interface). This means that the TCP/IP Stack has to be really intimate with your hardware.
For that reason you can’t just pick up one TCP/IP Stack and reuse it for another device. It has to have the right drivers for that device.
There are companies that provide TCP/IP Stacks but most silicon vendors that incorporate MACs into their silicon provide a TCP/IP stack at no charge. For example, Freescale provides something called OPENTCP. OPENTCP knows how to address the MACs used in Freescale controllers but not controllers from other Silicon vendors like Phillips or Intel.
The problem for an outside vendor who would want to provide these stacks is to create all the drivers for all the different pieces of hardware. And then supporting new pieces of hardware. Of course, by Murphy’s law, you will never have a stack that is exactly what a customer needs. So, it’s a mess that I haven’t wanted to jump into.
But that’s not the end of the story. No way. The problem with the free stacks from people like Freescale and Keil and others is that they often don’t work quite right. They are usually close. But not many vendors in the Industrial Automation world like “close”. Perfect is usually their choice so at RTA we’ve fixed a lot of these free TCP/IP Stacks. When people order ANSI C EtherNet/IP Scanner source code or ANSI C EtherNet/IP Adapter Source code we can give them a working TCP/IP Stack for their controller.
April 17th, 2013
Many of you know that I have been educated as an Engineer. I did the whole thing. Went to Engineering school, got a BSEE and graduated Cum Laude.
If you look up Cum Laude on Google (nobody uses the dictionary anymore) it is a Latin term for “he spent too much time in the library instead of at the Gym Bar chatting up those hot chicks from O’Donnell Hall”. Yeah, I was the guy in the library every night practicing calculus problems. I got a full 8 hours sleep almost every night. Still fell asleep in Chemistry class but that wasn’t the lack of sleep.
So, I’m an Engineer, a software Engineer. And I’ve done some really fine work. Not really at RTA lately but at Kimberly-Clark and Allen-Bradley. Got a lot of recognition there for my software expertise.
But what I am going to tell you about today is really amazing to me. It’s beyond anything I had hoped for. Our Engineers are releasing a product this week for moving data from ControlLogix PLCs to Profinet IO Controllers that just amazes me. They’ve done an incredible job making something that is so functional and so adaptable and so easy to use that I think this will be a real hit.
The product is our 464ETCPS. On the PLC side you will be able to read and write any Tag in a ControlLogix or CompactLogix PLC. Or write any file in a PLC5E, SLC5/05 or MicroLogix. That’s pretty cool.
The real interesting thing is what you can do on the Profinet IO side. If you’ve been paying attention to me you know that all Profinet IO Server devices look like I/O racks. They have a series of Slots for Input and Output. In the real world, each slot is populated with a specific type of module; 16 channel discrete input or maybe, 4 Channel Analog. Well, that kind of organization follows here.
You configure the Profinet IO side by assigning data types and data lengths to each of the 10 input slots and 10 output slots. So input Slot 1 may be 4 items of Floating point data. Input Slot 2 may be 16 items of Discrete input bits. And you do the same for each Output Slot.
Here’s the magic. You can then either manually assign all your Tags (or files) from the Allen-Bradley side to the slots on the Profinet IO Server side or let our Automatic mapping tool do it for you. If you have 10 Floating point tags they will end up in the first slot configured for Floating point with unassigned Floating point items. When that slot fills, any remaining floating point tags are assigned to the next slot configured for Floating point.
All of this is done easily and automatically for you. It’s very IMPRESSIVE. If you need to move Tags from ControlLogix to a Profinet IO Controller, the 460ETCPS is going to be your best bet, both functionally and economically.
Add in all the enhancements we’ve made to the product line over the past year including email support, login security, diagnostics, data translations, mapping enhancements and more and you are going to really like this product.
I guarantee it!
March 28th, 2013
I’ve become jaded over the years. Sorry to say that but it’s true. I’ve lost faith in institutions, companies and people. I see them failing all over the place.
I won’t say anything about our federal government. If I started on that topics, this blog would be book length; maybe several book lengths long. I get more suspicious as I get older so I’m really suspicious now. [For example, any pretty lady that’s smiling at me – I immediately suspect she’s a “Lady of Negotiable Affections”, if you get my drift]
But I will comment on companies. How do these big companies make money anyway? Seems like they get a mass of momentum in the marketplace and it just keeps them rolling along no matter what their employees do to stop it. I remember one big gorilla in the Building automation industry. I offered the guy a way to save $10,000 on his project. He told me that it would be too much hassle to do it that way that I should just take the $10,000! I did. It was a Nice Vacation.
But back to today’s suspicions. Suspicions that were unfounded, I’ll let you know right off.
We have a DeviceNet interface in our gateway line that is a DeviceNet I/O Slave. So that means that it has an input assembly and an output assembly. A DeviceNet Master device writes to the output assembly, we get that process it and send it to another protocol like a Modbus Master which then distributes the data to up to 31 slaves. That’s all pretty straightforward and clear. Or at least it is to those of you familiar with DeviceNet and DeviceNet gateways.
Well, we now have the capability to manipulate data in the middle of the transfer. We can do math operations on the data as it is moved. That means we can do things like scaling. If we get a temperature that is Fahrenheit, you can enter the formula to convert it to Celsius when it is sent out the other protocol. That’s a really cool feature. A great add-on to the basic process of moving data from one place to another.
So, today I said to Scott, our lead product development engineer, “it would be really cool if we could identify pieces of data in a DeviceNet I/O block as Integers or floats and then manipulate those pieces and do math operations on them”. For example, if the customer could say that bytes 3-6 are a 32-bit floating point value and he could scale that to a value between zero and ten thousand.
Scott, tells me “we can do that”. I go what? He insists we do that. So I make Scott prove it to me and, darn it, we really can pickoff data, do math operations on it and send it off to some other protocol.
I guess I’ll have to be less suspicious in the future.
March 14th, 2013
There are some things that Rockwell does that make great sense, some that make sense to them when you look at it from a Rockwell Marketing perspective and some that don’t make sense at all. Today I’m going to talk about something in the middle; Ethernet communications for the SLC 5/05. I don’t know how many SLC 5/05 users just don’t understand the Ethernet connectivity on that product but I’d guess it would be a lot.
A lot of people, too many in my opinion, look at that Ethernet port on the 5/05 and think “great – I can tie this into all sorts of things”. Of course, they’re wrong.
Let’s start by examining what Ethernet is. I say it all the time. You should think of it as a pipe. You should think of it as a link from one device to another. Just like my telephone links me to Kow Ming Yeh in Taiwan. Kow Ming and I went to grad school together about a million years ago. But just because I can call Kow Ming’s house in Taiwan that doesn’t mean I can communicate anything. I can call, get a connection but someone that doesn’t speak English answers we’re not going to accomplish anything. All I have is a connection.
So, at the minimum, the Ethernet port on the 5/05 gives you a connection. It just allows you to hook the pipes up between a device and the 5/05. So what travels in that pipe?
That is the key question. The 5/05 supports one protocol, something called PCCC which I think means Programmable Controller Command and Control language. PCCC is a very specific communications protocol that lets other devices read and write the registers of the 5/05. So, any device that wants to transfer information in or out of the data table of a 5/05 must use that protocol.
So, what can do that? Well, ControlLogix and CompactLogix PLCs can do that. RsLinx on a PC can do that and so can some HMIs. There is some non-Rockwell stuff that can do that but not much. We have a number of gateways that you can use to move data in and out of a 5/05 data table. Here’s some of the products that you can get that know how to use this port. If you want to
Move Barcodes into a SLC 5/05 – Our 435NBX is perfect for that. It just loads a set of registers with a barcode or other ASCII string every time a new one arrives.
Move Modbus RTU data in and out of a SLC 5/05 – Our 460ETCMM is a Modbus RTU Master that can connect up to 32 Modbus RTU devices to your 5/05. It links the Modbus Registers and Coils in those RTUs to the data table of the 5/05.
Move Profinet IO data in and out of a SLC 5/05 – Our 460ETCPS is a Profinet IO Device-side device that connects to a Siemens PLC. It allows you to connect the data table of a 5/05 to the I/O data on Profinet IO.
And we have lots more gateways for the SLC 5/05. The common thread among all these devices is that they have to be able to speak that PCCC messaging to transfer the data.
So why is that? Why did RA make this so hard? Well, I usually don’t defend them but in this case I will. In the first place you have to remember when this PLC line was designed. It was way back, long before open protocols. There wasn’t even the concept of open and there weren’t a lot of users or developers that had microprocessor based devices in those days. Most stuff was Discrete I/O based.
And why haven’t they updated it. Because they are eventually going to completely obsolete this line and adding more comms to it kind of defeats that purpose. It might not seem like it but they are doing the right thing.
But as long as you are going to be using these devices, our engineers at RTA will be working hard to make sure you have the right products and tools to keep these devices always be around to help you guys keep this stuff working into the future.
March 7th, 2013
A week or two ago I went to the ODVA EtherNet/IP Developers Quick Start in Andover MA. It’s a really good event. Lots of good information in one place if you really want to drink from the firehose on EtherNet/IP.
After the morning presentations I was teasing Ray Romito of Rockwell about both his tenure at Rockwell (34 years) and the terms “Little Indian” and “Big Indian”. About the former I told him that he’s been at Rockwell longer than I’ve been alive! Not true but it was fun to say. I asked him what it was like to take a buggy ride with Lynne Bradley or party all night with Stan Allen. I expressed surprise why the company name wasn’t Allen-Bradley-Romito. The least he should have done was to marry one of their daughters.
For those of you who don’t know the terms Big Indian and Little Indian is a perversion of the actual terms; Little Endian and Big Endian. It refers to the order of data bytes within a processor’s memory. In the old days, Intel and Motorola had to decide that within a two byte word of data, would the most significant byte of the data be first or would the least significant byte of data be first? Well, Intel decided it one way and Motorola decided to do it the other way. There’s more lost productivity to this arbitrary decision than almost any other I can think of.
For those of you non-programmers, here’s why it’s important. The two hexadecimal bytes 01 02 refer to the decimal value 258 in a Motorola processor and 513 in an Intel processor. In the first case the decimal value is computed as 1 * 256 + 2. In the second case, it’s 2 * 256 + 1.
Ray knows all this and just made a slip of the tongue. I’m glad of it, of course. Always looking for something to tease somebody about.
But, as always, there’s a finer point. The finer point is that there are a lot of things like this that are second nature to us networking people and foreign concepts to everyone else. And that’s true in every industry. On my recent experience with serious biking enthusiasts (didn’t want to say nuts) I could hardly follow their conversations. Lots of technical gibberish about biking that I don’t know and really had no interest in.
We have lots of things like this with our industrial gateways. Besides endian, there’s different styles of Floating point that people use, there are weird parities like Space and Mark. And there’s all the strange ways of describing connections and making them sound important like Group 1 Only I/O Server. I’ve been using terms like Group 1 Only I/O Server in bars for a while now but have yet to find a woman that it impressed.
I have to hand it to my engineers, they’ve buried a lot of these details from customers so that you really don’t have to deal with it. All these weird terms and odd peculiarities are concealed in products like our ASCII to ControlLogix gateway, or our gateway to move Modbus registers to a BACnet IP Client or our gateway to move raw TCP data into a Modbus TCP PLC.
If you every get the opportunity to attend one of these events, please do. They’re pretty informative and fun; more so when the speaker routinely messes up the names of terms. If you do show up, I’ll be the guy out by the cookies giving him crap about it.
February 25th, 2013
SIMPLICITY IN ALL THINGS
I’m a very simple guy. In many different ways.
I don’t want a cool car – I just want transportation. I don’t want fancy clothes – just keep me warm and comfortable. I don’t lie (or at least try hard not to) because I know I wouldn’t be very good at it. It’s too hard (complicated) to keep the story straight.
That attitude has carried over to RTA. Our products have to be simple. The one thing that I really know is that the Engineer deploying one of our gateways (http://www.rtaautomation.com/products/) is a very expensive resource to that company. If he has to spend two hours, let alone a half a day or a full day configuring our gateways then he just spent more money on labor than on that product. And that’s not right.
We’ve made a number of decisions to make sure that the deployment process is smooth and trouble free. And it starts with our web site. On our web site you’ll find a web page describing the product you need. If you want to move barcode data to a PLC (our 435NBX) then you’ll find that web page. If you want to move Modbus data to a BACnet/IP Controller (our 460MCBS) you’ll find that web page. And we’ve done the same with hundreds of other solutions. My goal is to make it easy for you to find the exact product that is going to solve your problem.
Once you’ve located the product, you can call and confirm your understanding of the unit and its operation. And you’ll get a LIVE PERSON to answer the phone. He or she will direct you to someone that can answer that particular question. Again, your time is important and we’re going to get you to someone that has the answers you need as fast as possible.
Next, I want you to get that Barcode to PLC gateway or other device deployed as fast as possible. Because we know what problem you have, we are going to preconfigure a lot of things for you. When you start the web server up, you are going to find just three or four steps you have to go through to get it all working. And that’s where you will really save time (money, money, money).
A few months ago the RTA Engineers asked me to review the browser main screen. Now, you have to understand that I am the least controlling manager in the world. The people that work at RTA have the authority to do pretty much anything they want (short of increasing their own salary though a couple of them do have that option). Anyway I hated the new main screen and tore it apart. This is probably the only time in the last few years that I played the “el president” card. I reserve that card for matters of great import where the customer experience is going to suffer.
So they redesigned it and its being deployed this month. I hope you’ll like the next screens. We’ve added some powerful new features but stayed true to the simplicity that you’ve come expect with our Modbus RTU gateways, BACnet IP gateways, EtherNet/IP gateways and all the rest.
I’ll look forward to hearing from you. I want you to hold us to a high standard of simplicity and ease-of-use. If this new look and feel doesn’t work right for you – let me know and we’ll do something about it.
That’s my promise,