Modbus is an open protocol and a de facto standard in the industry, which is based on a master/slave architecture. It was originally designed at the end of the 1970s for exchanging data between PLCs. Today, Modbus is still a widely used interface for integrating field devices into a system. Modbus devices communicate over a serial interface or over TCP/IP. Modbus TCP specifies communication over TCP/IP and is part of the IEC 61158 standard. Modbus devices use registers for data exchange, which are characterized by register type, address, and length. In addition, data type and byte order need to be specified in order to interpret Modbus data. The configuration is done by vendor-specific tools.
LOYTEC devices featuring a Modbus interface provide either Modbus TCP (Ethernet TCP/IP) or Modbus RTU (Remote Terminal Unit, based on RS-485) connectivity. Certain devices provide Modbus TCP and Modbus RTU at the same time. A Modbus interface can be operated either as a master or as a slave. The supported register types are: Read Discrete Inputs (2), Read Coils (1), Write Coils (5), Read Input Registers (4), Read Holding Registers (3), Write Holding Registers (6). For third-party integration, the vendor’s datasheet needs to be consulted in order to manually create a configuration. The Modbus technology does not offer a method for scanning this information online, as it is known from other technologies. For Modbus devices that are online, the manual configuration can however be tested via an online test function. By looking at the extracted values, the respective data points can then be configured accordingly. Modbus device templates can be created, which allows the re-use of Modbus configurations and reduces errors in configuration. AST™ functions for alarming (alarm management), scheduling, and trending (historic data recording) also apply to Modbus data points.
More details on the communication behavior in a Modbus network can be found in the respective product manuals, which are available for download.