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05-11-2019
3 min. read
Sjors de Kleijn

Secure Remote Access for Allen-Bradley/Rockwell Automation PLC

Get secure VPN and data access for programmable controllers of Rockwell Automation and equipment

Using remote access, you can remotely troubleshoot and program your Rockwell Automation/Allen-Bradley control systems. Operating problems faced by engineers can be solved more efficiently with remote access to the control system. A prerequisite for industrial remote access is that machines can be accessed from the internet in a secure and reliable way. After all, nobody wants to undermine the security or daily operations of the parties involved.

IXON Cloud is designed to offer you easy remote access, remote programming and remote monitoring across the internet to machines and installations at the customer’s site or in the field. IXON Cloud is fully compatible with Rockwell Automation / Allen-Bradley using the IXrouter.

  1. Introduction into IXON Cloud: Remote Service and IIoT platform
  2. Secure remote access router for Allen-Bradley PLC controllers
  3. How to setup remote access to Allen-Bradley PLC with IXON Cloud
  4. How to access the web server (HTTP) remotely
  5. View and control HMI touch screens
  6. How to log data from the PLC and create dashboards
  7. Set up alarms for predictive maintenance
  8. Try IXON Cloud 30 days with our Starter Kit
IXrouter connected to an Allen-Bradley PLC controller for secure worldwide access IXrouter connected to an Allen-Bradley PLC controller for secure worldwide access

Explore IXON Cloud for remote VPN access to Allen-Bradley PLCs

Benefits of using IXON Cloud for Allen-Bradley controllers:

  • A single web-portal to manage all your machines and control user access
  • Plug & Play setup and no additional software needed (fully web-based)
  • Support for Ethernet (LAN), 4G/LTE and Wi-Fi connectivity with the IXrouter
  • Secure VPN connections on desktop and via mobile apps
  • Top-notch security
  • Futureproof and scalable to your (customers’) needs with additional IoT features for data logging, storage, alarms and data visualisation.

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Secure remote access router for Allen-Bradley PLC controllers

There is an easy way to set up a secure VPN connection to your Allen-Bradley PLC device from anywhere in the world using the IXrouter and remote service portal. This connectivity option connects your Rockwell / Allen-Bradley PLC controller securely – using a VPN tunnel – to the IXON Cloud. Your machines are remotely accessible in just minutes.

The IXrouter is IXON’s combined industrial VPN router and edge gateway device. The different models of the IXrouter enable an internet connection via ethernet, 4G/LTE or Wi-Fi. The IXrouter can access the Rockwell/Allen-Bradley PLC controller and provides full access to industrial components in the machine network such as an HMI, IP camera, robot or sensors. To ensure a secure solution, it has a built-in firewall to separate the company’s network from the machine network. And you can easily configure the IXrouter to collect and store the data in IXON Cloud – without a line of code. Define the variables you want to log in IXON Cloud and create your own dashboards or alarms.

How to setup remote access to Allen-Bradley PLC with IXON Cloud

To make use of the IXON Cloud you need to create a free company account and connect your industrial equipment to this platform using an IXrouter. The short video below demonstrates how to set up remote access with the IXrouter and IXON Cloud.

Once your IXrouter device is activated, you can log into your IXON Cloud account to set up a secure VPN connection to your Allen-Bradley PLC. Choose the device you want to connect to and press the VPN button. Now, a secure VPN tunnel is created from your computer, via the IXON Cloud to your PLC. You’ll have full network access to your equipment for remote PLC troubleshooting, monitoring and to publish new programming software releases.

 

How to access the Allen-Bradley web server (HTTP) remotely

IXON developed Web Access so you can easily access your machine's HTTP(S) server without requiring a VPN connection. This enables you to access your machine's servers on any mobile and desktop device with an internet connection. Access and control the Allen-Bradley webserver directly and securely from your browser, no additional software needed. A speedy and seamless connection is guaranteed, as it runs via IXON's worldwide VPN network. In the image we've depicted how this works.

These steps show you how to set up an HTTP or HTTPS service.

IXON Cloud: Remote view and control Rockwell/Allen-Bradley HMI touch panels on your smartphone. IXON Cloud: Remote view and control Rockwell/Allen-Bradley HMI touch panels on your smartphone.

 

View and control HMI touch screens from remote 

With VPN access you remotely get secure and full network access to the PLC machine network. To give you more options, we support the VNC protocol to remotely access any industrial control system connected to your Allen-Bradley controller. This functionality is included and free of charge.

Monitor touch panels remotely with VNC

An HMI remote viewer & monitoring option is available using the VNC protocol. View, access and fully control your Allen-Bradley / Rockwell Automation touch screen (or any other HMI brand which supports VNC) remotely via your browser or mobile apps. 

Tip: Download the IXON Cloud mobile app to get push messages of your Allen-Bradley device on your smartphone, access the dashboards, control HMIs and access the web server. Available for iPhone and Android.

 

How to log data from Allen-Bradley PLCs to IXON Cloud

The data logging feature from IXON Cloud lets you log data securely from the Allen-Bradley device to the IXON Cloud. It collects, prepares, transmits and stores data using a secure connection automatically from the Allen-Bradley device to the IXON Cloud via the IXrouter. Just define the parameters you want to log and the interval (log on interval, log on change, or log on trigger).

The gathered data can be used for further analysis and optimisation of your system or processes. Use it to send alarms (e.g. when an emergency button is pressed or production line stops) or compose your (live) data dashboards. These additional features are available in your free IXON Cloud portal.

IXON supports Modbus TCP/IP, OPC-UA and Ethernet/IP protocols. These protocols can be used to monitor the variables of your controller or attached components using the IXrouter.

 

How to create and send alarms for Allen-Bradley controllers

Receive warnings about important machine events to reduce downtime or predict maintenance updates. The alarms & notification feature from IXON Cloud allows you to send push messages or emails without any coding. Use it to monitor events and trigger alarms, in the factory or from a remote location, by using the collected data of the Rockwell Automation controller.

Define when (variable, condition and priority) the alarm should be triggered and who should receive a notification with instructions.

 

Starter kit for Remote Access for Allen-Bradley PLC

Experience setting up a secure connection to your Allen-Bradley controller in just minutes! Create your free IXON Cloud account or request an IXrouter starter kit.

((Request a starter kit))