Pepperl+Fuchs Blog

How to Connect to a Remote I/O System

Posted by Aaron Severa on Thu, Nov 14, 2013

At a plant or job site, Remote I/O installation processes happen in many phases. At times, certain equipment and bus communication lines may not be available from the early stages that would allow a user to configure and set up some of the controllers or Remote I/O modules.

LB ZOne 2 Remote I/OIn the following video, a brief explanation is given about how to connect to Pepperl+Fuchs’ LB Remote I/O station via the service bus while using an RS232 to USB converter and a laptop.

Connecting your Remote I/O this way can be an invaluable time-saving method, allow you to set up a complete topology, configure, and parameterize all of the I/O modules without actually being on site with full bus communication.


Hello, I'm Aaron Severa, Product Manager for Remote I/O and Bus Systems at Pepperl+Fuchs in North America. In this video today, we'll give a brief demonstration of how to connect to a Remote I/O system, build a topology, and configure devices in PACTware.

PACTware software

So now we are in PACTware software. Once you have PACTware and all the necessary Remote I/O DTMs installed, we can get to this point and start to set up and configure our Remote I/O system. The first thing we'll do, though, is look at which COM port we are plugged in to on our USB serial converter. To do this, you'll go into the control panel in Windows, and then look for your device manager. Then, go down to the port option. As you can see, we are plugged in on COM port 3. That's all the information you'll need here.

Going back into PACTware, we can go under host PC under our project window, right click, and click 'Add a Device'. Here we only have one option, since we only have one DTM installed, and this is the service bus interface for our LB and FB Series. You can click on it, and then click OK. You will see it added to the topology. The next thing we'll do is right click on the LB/FB service bus and go down to the parameter option. Choose Parameterization and then Configure COM Port. Here we will want to change the COM port to match the one that we looked at in the device manager. We were on COM port 3, so we will select that, click save, and then click OK. You can see the address of the service bus now shows up under COM port 3.

The next step we'll do is connect to the service bus. Do that by clicking Connect. You can see the connection plugs went together and they went green, so we do have a connection on the service bus.

The next thing we're going to do is scan the service bus to try to find our Remote I/O Gateway that we have on our backplane. To do this, you'll right click on the service bus under our project topology. Go down to additional functions and then click on 'scan service bus'. A window will now appear. Where we want to scan from, scanning area 1 to 10, will scan service bus addresses 1 through 10. Since we are on address 3, and it is within that range, we can start our scan by clicking the button. What this is doing now is searching the backplane and searching the service bus to find what gateway is on there. And you can see, we have a type 8109 gateway, a tag LB8109, and then a device description. It's a PROFIBUS gateway on service bus address 1. So we can click this box here, and then create a device. Now you can see under our project topology that the LB8109 has automatically been added. We can close out of this window now.

The next thing we'll do is scan the gateway to try to find all the Remote I/O modules that we have attached to the backplane. To do this,  you'll do pretty much the same thing you did for the service bus. You will right click on the LB8109 gateway and click 'Connect'. Again, you can see the plugs went together and they went green, establishing a connection. Again, you'll right click on the LB8109, go down to additional functions, and this time you'll want to select 'topology scan'. A screen pops up, and you can watch it automatically generate all the devices that are connected. We have an LB1108 digital input, a 6108 digital output, an analog input, a couple of temperature modules, an analog output, etc.

All the devices that were on that backplane are automatically found. Now, if we click the  'Create Devices' button, it will automatically add them to our project topology on the left. Now you can see that all the modules are located under the topology.

We have two different ways of connecting to the modules. You can right click on each individual module and click 'Connect'. Or, if you have a lot of modules and don't want to click through them individually, you can right click on the LBFB service bus, and click 'Disconnect'. That will disconnect everything in the topology that falls underneath it. And then once again, you can right click on 'Host PC' and click 'Connect'. This will connect everything  in the topology under Host PC.

Now that we have established connection with all the devices, I will briefly show you how to configure one of the devices. To do that, we will go down to the LB3105 analog input module. You can left click on the module to select it, then right click and go down to 'Parameter', and we'll then select 'Online Parameterization'. Once you click on this, an additional screen will pop up, showing you the general information for that module along with tabs showing channel 1, 2, 3, and 4, or however many channels that device has. Here, we can click on channel 1, and we can go down, and we can create a tag for that channel. We can create the starting and stopping range of our 4...20 signal. If we'd like line fault detection on, and different alarm points, or if we want to have a HART signal on this as well, you can select them here. You can do pretty much the same thing for every I/O module, depending if it is an analog input, analog output, digital in or digital out, or universal module. You can do the same type of configuration for all of them.

This concludes the brief demonstration on how to set up, build a topology, and configure an I/O module in PACTware.

Questions about Remote I/O? Get the Engineer's Guide

Topics: Troubleshooting, Software, Remote I/O

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