Tycon Automation engineers assisted Verwer Training and Consultancy Ltd in installing the first Procentec COMbricks unit in the UK.
COMbricks is a new concept in PROFIBUS networking and monitoring from Procentec, the company that produces the well known PROFIBUS analyser ProfiTrace.
ProfiTrace is an essential and widely used portable tool for health checking and fault finding on PROFIBUS networks. However, to use this tool, the engineer has to be on-site and quickly get to the location. The engineer is required to be “the expert” in order to interpret the diagnostic information. Fault finding has to be “reactive”, that is the fault has to have been visible so that it is noticed. This normally means that the network has failed before we know about the problem. We normally have no pre-warning of impending failure, therefore we must do regular health checks to ensure good quality communication is maintained.
COMbricks is a new modular repeater system allowing up to 20 PROFIBUS segments to be connected in a single network. The repeater modules can also be easily configured to be on up to four different networks.
The real innovation in the COMbricks concept is that the unit includes a head station with built in ProfiTrace functionality. Further, the ProfiTrace is accessible as a web page over a standard Ethernet network. This allows up to four networks to be permanently monitored for communication faults and peripheral errors.
COMbricks does not require a permanently connected PC with special software. The COMbricks web pages can be accessed with a simple web browser from anywhere within the company’s IT network.