What are you looking for?
20-10-2020
3 min. read
Patrick Smits

[Tutorial] Export Data From PLCs And HMIs To Excel

How to export machine data from PLCs and HMIs to Excel in IXON Cloud.

For processing and analysing data, many people automatically turn to Excel. In this short tutorial, we'll show you how to export machine data from PLC & HMIs to Excel using IXON Cloud in just four simple steps.

As many people, including engineers and machine operators, are familiar with Excel, this is their go-to tool for analysing data. The same applies for machine users longing for an operational historian or engineers who are looking for data trends.

IXON provides you with all the tools needed to remotely connect to machines and industrial installations and collect data from equipment such as PLCs, HMIs, IPCs, servo drives, frequency regulators and much more. The only requirement is that this equipment is accessible via Ethernet and supports data acquisition via one of our supported protocols.

The collected data is stored in IXON Cloud, where it can be visualised in dashboards for a wide range of applications, be it performance monitoring, quality assurance or even machine learning. For more advanced scenarios it may be necessary to export data to third party software or other cloud platforms. This is perfectly feasible with the well-documented IXON API.

However, if you just want to play or experiment with your data, using the IXON API may be somewhat overkill. Why not export your data via IXON Cloud and analyse it in Excel? That's much easier. Let's get started immediately!

> Did you know you can also write data to Siemens PLC's using IXON Cloud?

Step 1. Connect your PLC to IXON Cloud

IXON gathers data from industrial devices, time-stamps it and sends the data off to IXON Cloud, where it's stored in a time-series database. To get your data in IXON Cloud, you have to create a free IXON account and connect your machine to our cloud environment. The set-up process is described elaborately on our support portal, but we also have a video available to get a quick impression.

Depending on the type of PLC, you can either do so with an IXrouter or – if your PLC is in the list on this page – use the IXagent software to do so. You can check out our step-by-step instructions, animations or introduction video to see how this works.

PLC Data logging PLC Data logging

Step 2. Activate IXON Cloud Data Logging

With your equipment now connected to IXON Cloud, you need to activate data logging to start collecting machine data. Sources can be PLCs, HMIs, IPCs or other industrial devices, as long as they speak one of our supported protocols. Activate Cloud Data Logging in your account settings and configure it. Again, a step-by-step guide is on our support portal. Historical data in IXON Cloud can be represented in many ways, p.e. by using the table widget. You can get a quick impression of the process by watching this video.

Step 3. Create real-time or historical dashboards

Once your data is being acquired, you can set up machine dashboards to provide status or performance information. This way you can easily keep an eye on temperature, weight or other metrics that are important to your process or workflow. By using historical dashboards you can quickly find out what happened a while back. To analyse data from a specific time frame we're now going to export it to Excel.

Step 4. Export your PLC data to Excel

The final step to export the data to Excel: open the dashboard of your choice, select the time frame you want to analyse in the upper left corner and click on the three small dots in the top right corner of your dashboard widget. After selecting "Export to CSV-file", your download will start. Now you can open or import the downloaded CSV-file with any spreadsheet software you like, be it Microsoft Excel, LibreOffice Calc or a cloud suite such as Google Sheets. In some programs it may be necessary to explicitly tell it is a comma separated file encoded with the character set ISO-8859-1 and that language is set to English (USA), but alas. Now that you have all the desired data at your disposal, you can use any analysis you can think of.

Select date and export PLC data to excel Select date and export PLC data to excel

Not using IXON Cloud Data Logging yet?

Did you know there's a 30-day free trial for Data Logging? This is an easy way to find out if it fits your needs. If you're not using IXON, you can try the Free Tour, which is set-up for demonstration purposes. To prevent abuse not all features and set-up options can be tweaked, but you can get a clear idea about the possibilities of IXON Cloud. In the Free Tour, select the weighing machine and pick a historical dashboard to start experimenting!

[[Try the Free Product Tour]]