Distribution Center Enabled Via Modbus Communication

Basic CMYK

In today’s technological age, online shopping is growing in popularity because it offers quick delivery, easy price comparisons, and a wide variety of options—all from the comfort and convenience of home.

In order to accommodate for this increased demand, one international online retailer was faced with the difficult task of integrating new equipment and capabilities into their Modbus control system. Traditionally, Modbus communication takes place between a master and a slave; the master gives out the command, and the slave answers back with the necessary information: weight, size, temperature, etc. Although many industry experts believed master-to-master communication wasn’t possible, Comtrol has discovered a way. With the use of Comtrol’s DeviceMaster UP Modbus, equipped with Modbus Router firmware, master-to-master communication is now possible!

Upon hearing about Comtrol’s ability to support master-to-master communication, this online retailer began implementing Comtrol’s DeviceMaster UP 2-Port 1E Modbus in one of their distribution centers as a trial run. The DeviceMasters support multiple functions within this distribution center, including processes involving scanning, labeling, and printing. Completed orders move down the assembly line and are weighed to ensure the package contains the correct product and quantity. A Kicked Out (KO) label is attached to the box if either the product or quantity doesn’t match the weight; packages containing a KO label are then reviewed by a team member before they’re placed back on the line to be re-weighed and given the correct shipping label. To ensure the accuracy at each of these steps, master-to-master communication takes place between the individual DeviceMaster’s.

Impressed with the improvement in their operations, along with the assistance of Comtrol’s control engineers, the large integration project was given the go ahead and is currently being implemented in warehouses located in Europe, North America, and Canada.

The Device Master UP Modbus allows simultaneous connection between both serial and Ethernet devices to PLC’s as a result of the DualConnect Plus technology. In addition, the Modbus Router firmware allows 95 Modbus TCP Masters to be connected, and in communication, with the central master. It also contains DIN-rail mounting and screw terminal connections.

Comtrol’s DeviceMaster UP 2-Port 1E Modbus is ideal for distribution centers as it is NEMA TS2 certified, operating in temperatures ranging from -37°C. to 74°C.

To learn more about master-to-master communication through DeviceMaster UP Modbus, please contact sales@comtrol.com