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CASE STUDY: Bridging Protocol Worlds at a South American Mine

netTAP gateways from Hilscher have come to the rescue at an Argentinian mining project where variable frequency drives (VFD) and related Motor Control Cells (MCC) from Schneider Electric had to be integrated with a PROFINET-based plant architecture and still provide seamless control from the PCS all the way down to field device level.

 

Schneider Electric Argentina Services, an Argentina-based subsidiary of Schneider Electric, has a mining customer who recently started operating a plant for the production of primary lithium carbonate. Third-party controllers are used to monitor field I/Os and other devices connected via PROFINET. The Schneider MCCs are equipped with a communication front end that uses Schneider Electric‘s proprietary protocol, requiring translation to PROFINET.

 

After considering all options, the company chose Hilscher’s NT100-RE-EN Gateway from the netTAP 100 range as a communications bridge between the two protocol worlds. netTAP offers PROFINET to EtherNet/IP conversion and supports slave and master functionality in any combination. It allows the company to use the VFD and MCC and still have seamless process control. The full-featured development environment that comes as a standard feature allows the programming of any serial protocol as well as handling /IO data pre-processing during the conversion process. “By extension, this solution can be used with any process controlled via PROFINET that needs to interact with the Schneider automation platform,” said Rogelio Hernández, Automatism Project Leader, Schneider Electric Argentina. More on netTAP

 

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