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04-09-2020
5 min. read
Sjors de Kleijn

Remote Access for Mitsubishi PLCs

Easy and secure remote access and data logging for Mitsubishi PLC equipment using IXON Cloud

Mitsubishi Electric has a wide range of industrial equipment for building smarter machines. To create more flexibility for engineers and operators, you can easily expand them with edge connectivity and remote VPN access and control options using IXON’s end-to-end IoT solution. This article explains the benefits, how it works and how to get started.

  1. Introduction into IXON Cloud: Remote Service and IIoT platform
  2. What IXON Cloud can offer for Mitsubishi PLC
  3. Edge connectivity for Mitsubishi controllers
  4. How to connect the Mitsubishi PLC with IXON Cloud
  5. Remote VPN access
  6. Remotely control the Mitsubishi web server via HTTP
  7. Remote control the Mitsubishi HMI panel via VNC
  8. Data logging for Mitsubishi PLC
  9. Create a dashboard from PLC data
  10. Set up predictive maintenance alarms for Mitsubishi equipment
  11. Try IXON Cloud 30 days with our Starter Kit
IXON Cloud: Remote Service and IIoT platform IXON Cloud: Remote Service and IIoT platform

 

Remote Service & IoT platform for Mitsubishi Electric PLC equipment

IXON has created a powerful Industrial IoT platform to upgrade industrial Mitsubishi equipment and MELFA Robots with Remote Access and data capabilities. Using IXON Cloud, machine builders get instant and easy access to PLCs, HMIs, IP cameras and local web servers over a secure VPN connection from anywhere in the world.

 

What IXON Cloud can offer for Mitsubishi PLCs

Thanks to IXON Cloud you get easy and secure web-based access to your Mitsubishi PLC controls and HMI interfaces on your smartphone or pc. With IXON Cloud you can:

  • Connect from remote to your Mitsubishi programmable controllers and connected devices over VPN for remote PLC programming, debugging and troubleshooting.
  • Take over Mitsubishi HMI displays remotely and control it via VNC over a secure VPN connection.
  • Remotely access local web servers in the network of the PLC to view web pages from PLCs, HMIs, IP cameras and more with one click from within IXON Cloud.
  • Collect, organize and store machine data from selected PLC variables in IXON Cloud and create customisable dashboards with graphs and figures (drag & drop).
  • Be notified if an unexpected failure occurs or is about to occur, by capturing the right machine data and offering preventive or predictive maintenance options.
  • Manage all your industrial equipment in one place and control who has access to it with role-based user management.
  • Create custom apps or integrate with third-party applications through the IXON API. It gives you complete access to the data stored in IXON Cloud.

To connect your Mitsubishi PLC to the IXON Cloud, we created the IXrouter. The IXrouter is a special purpose industrial VPN router and edge gateway that is specifically designed and optimised for security and ease of use. The IXrouter makes setting up a connection and collecting data from Mitsubishi PLCs to IXON Cloud an extremely simple process.

IXrouter connected to Mitsubishi PLC for Remote Access. © JFAK Thailand. IXrouter connected to Mitsubishi PLC for Remote Access. © JFAK Thailand.

 

Edge connectivity for Mitsubishi equipment

The IXrouter also functions as an edge gateway, and as such, it has built-in functionally to collect data from Mitsubishi PLCs and robots. After setting up remote access, you can easily configure IXON Cloud Data Logging to aggregate data from specific variables. This way you can create online machine dashboards for conditioning monitoring and data analytics. The IXrouter supports many industrial protocols natively, such as OPC UA, MELSEC and Modbus/TCP.

Using the machine data you can extend your service offering for machine statistics and setting up preventive or predictive monitoring solutions.

Tip: Try the easiest secure remote access solution for Mitsubishi: IXON Cloud. Request your Starter Kit here.

 

How to connect Mitsubishi PLCs with IXON Cloud

To make use of IXON Cloud you need to create a free account and connect your Mitsubishi PLC to the platform using an IXrouter.

Each IXrouter has four ethernet ports for connecting industrial equipment, and one WAN port to connect it to the internet. However, there are multiple versions of the IXrouter supporting additional ways to set up internet access:

  • Ethernet only (cable)
  • Ethernet & 4G Global
  • Ethernet & Wi-Fi
  • Ethernet, 4G Global & Wi-Fi

Each device includes lifetime free VPN / VNC access and support and the option to activate Cloud Logging and Cloud Notify when you need it. Simply choose the device with the desired internet interfaces, connect your PLCs and you’re all set and done.

In this article we briefly explain how to get started with the IXON Cloud platform and how to set up the IXrouter in just 3 simple steps.

Edge connectivity for Mitsubishi PLC Edge connectivity for Mitsubishi PLC

 

Using remote VPN access to connect to Mitsubishi PLCs

Once your IXrouter device is activated, you can log into your IXON Cloud account to enable a secure VPN connection to your Mitsubishi PLC controller. Choose the device you want to connect to and click the VPN button. Now, a secure VPN tunnel is created from your computer, via the IXON Cloud to your machine. You’ll have full network access to your Mitsubishi PLC for remote monitoring, programming, debugging and troubleshooting.

 

Remotely control the Mitsubishi web server via HTTP

Once you’ve configured the HTTP server, you can remotely view, configure and control the web servers of local devices within IXON Cloud via a browser or using the IXON app. View webpage remotely via your browser or smartphone to access log files and status reports.

 

Remote control Mitsubishi HMI panels via VNC

After configuring the VNC server, you can remotely view, configure and control HMI touchscreens that are connected to your Mitsubishi PLC from within IXON Cloud by taking over its screen over the secure VPN connection. View, access and fully control HMI panels remotely via your browser or smartphone apps. Help the machine operator from remote or share HMI access with your customer as added service for your machines.

Remote Control Mitsubishi HMI over VPN Remote Control Mitsubishi HMI over VPN

 

Collecting data from Mitsubishi PLCs

Cloud Logging is a data acquisition service to gather data from specific variables of your Mitsubishi PLC. IXON supports all major industrial protocols, like MELSEC, OPC UA and Modbus/TCP. You can configure the PLC data parameters you’d like to register in the cloud and select when these need to be logged (on interval, on change or using a custom trigger). The IXrouter monitors these parameters and sends the acquired data to IXON Cloud so you can present them in dashboards for analysis or use them for triggering alarms.

When the IXrouter temporarily loses its internet connection, data from the PLC is cached locally by the IXrouter so this data is not lost. As soon as the connection is re-established, the data will be uploaded and stored securely in IXON Cloud.

 

Create a custom dashboard from machine data

Once data is collected from your Mitsubishi PLC (e.g. production stats), and securely transmitted and stored in IXON Cloud, you can use it to configure dashboards. Using our drag & drop editor, you can add widgets and build multiple dashboards based on the collected data. Add a gauge, period, tables or graph widget to create a data report or live monitor for your Mitsubishi PLC (or connected peripherals). 

Once you’ve set up your dashboards, re-use them using our template feature and share them with your partners and customers to provide easy insights in factory processes or machine productivity. Since it's all web-based, dashboards can be viewed on any device (smartphone, tablet or PC) from anywhere in the world.

If you want to combine data from other sources, you can use our API, which makes all data accessible for whatever use case you have in mind. Remember, we’re an open platform.

Example of a custom build dashboard of machine's PLC data in IXON Cloud Example of a custom build dashboard of machine's PLC data in IXON Cloud

 

Set up alarms for Mitsubishi PLC

To create and receive predictive and preventive alarms from your Mitsubishi PLC you need to activate Cloud Notify in your account. Alarms can be created based on the condition of a parameter, like when the machine program state is equal to “SUCCESS”.

Choose the variable and priority, set the condition and write some specific instructions for the operator, so he knows what the alarm is about. Next, you define who must receive a smartphone push message or email when the alarm is triggered.

 

Try IXON Cloud 30 days with our Starter Kit

Experience IXON Cloud now. Just leave us your details and we’ll send you a Starter Kit with our most advanced IXrouter (Wi-Fi, Ethernet and 4G/LTE) and all necessary accessories to jumpstart your project. Set up a complete scenario for remote access and test our IoT features with your own Mitsubishi PLC. Experience the convenience of the IXrouter and IXON Cloud platform in our starter kit.

[[Request starter kit]]

You can also explore the IXON Cloud platform in our Free Product Tour.

You are not the first one who connect industrial equipment to the IXON Cloud. Get in touch and ask any technicals questions via our contact page.