Each ConveyLinx-Ai Family Modules communicates to its adjacent modules and to any connected PC or PLC via Ethernet physical media. ConveyLinx-Ai Family Moduless recognize (3) TCP/IP based protocols: Modbus TCP, Profinet I/O, and Ethernet I/P. Modbus TCP is the “native” protocol for communications between ConveyLinx-Ai Family Moduless and the EasyRoll PC software. When ConveyLinx-Ai Family Moduless are used even for basic ZPA control with no external connections to a PC or PLC, they utilize Modbus TCP for inter-module communication. Ethernet I/P is recognized by ConveyLinx-Ai Family Moduless and any given ConveyLinx-Ai Family Modules can be attached to an Ethernet I/P capable PLC (Allen-Bradley ControlLogix or CompactLogix platforms) and be recognized as a Generic Ethernet Module or explicitly as an ConveyLinx-Ai Family Modules by using a Pulseroller provided EDS file. Profinet I/O is recognized by ConveyLinx-Ai Family Moduless and can be attached to any Profinet I/O capable PLC (applicable Siemens platforms) using a Pulseroller provided GSDXML file.

Each ConveyLinx-Ai Family Modules’s internal data structure is arranged and addressed as Modbus Holding Registers. The on-board communication and control processes attach logical meanings to each holding register and read and write data to specific registers to initiate and/or react to events. Certain registers contain information as to how the ConveyLinx-Ai Family Modules is configured (MDR type, speed, direction, etc.) for its local controls. Other registers are used for inter-module communications for conveyor operation. For example, when an upstream ConveyLinx-Ai Family Modules has a Carton ready to discharge to its neighboring downstream ConveyLinx-Ai Family Modules, the upstream ConveyLinx-Ai Family Modules will write a specific value to a specific address in the downstream ConveyLinx-Ai Family Modules’s internal registers. The downstream ConveyLinx-Ai Family Modules’s on board logic monitors these registers and knows that a specific value means that an upstream Carton is coming and to engage the proper control logic to convey the Carton.
Because ConveyLinx utilizes an open architecture (Modbus TCP) for inter-module communications; with proper definition and expected usage of certain register address locations, external control devices (PC’s and PLC’s) can easily interact with ConveyLinx-Ai Family Moduless to monitor and control various points along the conveyor path.