Remote control technology from the control system through to the field level

Modern control systems have a wide range of remote control technology interfaces, such as IEC 60870-5-104 and DNP3. Phoenix Contact provides you with the communication infrastructure for efficiently coupling these protocols with your automation system. Modular remote control stations enable data transmission tailored to your application, for example in the supply of energy, water, gas, and district heating.

Topology: Overview of communication paths from the control system through to the field level

Overview of communication paths from the control system through to the field level

Remote control via in-house cabling Via copper and fiberglass

Network remote communication devices easily and efficiently via any 2-wire cables. Use existing telephone lines or master cables, for example, to create a particularly economical network for Ethernet, PROFIBUS, or RS-232/422/485 communication. With the help of extenders, you can extend the transmission range beyond the corresponding standard to up to 20 km per extender segment.

  • Ethernet, PROFIBUS, and RS-232/422/485 communication up to 20 kilometers via any 2-wire cable
  • Cost savings with the use of existing copper conductors
  • Time savings with quick and easy startup, in part via Plug and Play
  • Excellent failsafe performance with path redundancy: point-to-point 4-wire or in part via ring redundancy
Serial fieldbus communication topology
Topology: extended IP networks
Virtually/logically separate IP networks with VLAN
Serial fieldbus communication topology

Network remote serial fieldbus devices easily, efficiently, and cost effectively via existing cables with PROFIBUS and serial extenders. The extenders extend the transmission range beyond the corresponding standard up to 20 km per extender segment.

PROFIBUS extender

  • Typical PROFIBUS data rate of 1.5 Mbps at approx. 1.5 km
  • 1 PROFIBUS port

Serial extender

  • RS-232, RS-422, or RS-485 can be selected
  • RS-232, up to 230.4 kbps (automatic DCE/DTE switchover)
  • RS-422/RS-485 up to 2,000 kbps
  • Termination resistor, can be enabled/disabled (RS-485 W2)

Topology: extended IP networks

With the Ethernet extenders, not only can you connect simple point-to-point Ethernet applications, but also extended IP networks of up to 20 km exceptionally easily via Plug and Play.
Any existing two-wire cables can be used for networking. The system can be extended during operation without causing any adverse impact. Automatic topology and data rate detection saves time and money, even as early as startup. All extender devices and paths can be easily monitored remotely on the web or via SNMP using a single managed device.

Find out more about the Ethernet extender
Virtually/logically separate IP networks with VLAN

In firmware version v5.xx and later, our Ethernet extender can be used to virtually isolate critical IP networks and make them even more secure using VLAN (Virtual Local Area Network). By setting up virtual networks in the Ethernet extender system, access to Ethernet end devices can be limited easily and individually, increasing the security throughout the entire IP network. In this case, communication is only possible within a VLAN.

Find out more about the Ethernet extender

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Remote control via the cellular network

For the continuous acquisition of your process data, Phoenix Contact offers cellular devices which support all carrier technologies, from text messages through to data communication via GPRS/EDGE (2G), UMTS/HSPA (3G), and LTE (4G). With the globally available cellular network, the devices become a reliable communicator, even in areas with a weak infrastructure.

The small remote stations and entire system parks, such as remote pumping stations, can be connected to the control center using methods spanning from text messaging, through remote control protocols at low data rates, all the way to broadband VPN connection, depending on the communication requirements.

  • Can be used from any location with the worldwide cellular network
  • Scalable, from text messages, through streamlined IP remote control protocols, all the way to LTE broadband connection
  • Total network security with private APN, firewall, and VPN
  • Cellular router with extended temperature range for all infrastructure applications
  • Compact cellular module, for economically connecting the smallest system parts
Topology: Broadband connection for distributed systems
Topology: Event-driven communication with the text message version of the remote control system
Topology: Private network over cellular communication for secure remote communication via private APN
Topology: Broadband connection for distributed systems

Cellular technology provides a secure communication solution for applications with a large data throughput. In an LTE network, monitoring images and server functions are made available to the control center from around the globe.

The routers with VPN functionality make closed communication on the Internet possible. The data traffic is transmitted directly to the control room via VPN. Thus, for example, it is possible to connect wind turbine generators via camera applications, or to connect to the network of a sewage treatment plant.

Topology: Event-driven communication with the text message version of the remote control system

Text message technology is ideally suited for a low number of switching operations or a large number of different actuators. A remote process can be controlled via text message commands with a pre-paid card without being bound by a contract.

Using the text message version of the TC MOBILE I/O X200 remote control system, access controls can be implemented with an ordinary mobile phone by activating the door lock releasing system or systems can be reactivated in the event of an error. The I/Os of a controller can be connected via SMS or the VPN tunnel can be initialized on demand through the existing software interface of the cellular router.

Find out more alerts via cellular communication
Topology: Private network over cellular communication for secure remote communication via private APN

Special security directives apply to critical applications, such as the distribution of water, gas, oil, and electricity. In such applications, communication over public networks is often completely prohibited.

Many providers offer SIM cards that use a private APN (Access Point Name). With this procedure, a private network can also be established that goes beyond the cellular interface. A distributed LAN (Local Area Network) is created. In contrast to the public cellular network, fixed IP addresses can be used. This makes direct communication between the substations possible. When using this approach, an attempted Internet attack on critical applications is impossible.

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Remote control with wireless systems

The Radioline wireless system makes it possible to transmit data and signals over several kilometers. For remote control technology, this is a reliable and inexpensive alternative to new cable paths, particularly during the installation of new system components or the replacement of defective communication cables. The wireless modules have various interfaces and act as a gateway between local sensors and actuators of the process station and the control center.

  • Fast and easy startup without programming
  • Easy point-to-point or network connections (star, mesh)
  • Can be extended with up to 32 I/O modules per station via DIN rail connector (hot-swap capability)
  • Adjustable wireless interface data rates
  • 128-bit data encryption (AES)
Topology: Radioline mesh network

Mesh networks for extended infrastructures

Within peripheral, highly branched system structures, measured values and other operating information must be transmitted securely, fill levels monitored, and pump performance and flow rates logged continuously.
Radioline transmits I/O signals as well as serial data, and is therefore very versatile. Trusted Wireless technology also ensures reliable transmission in harsh industrial environments, whatever the protocol type. The Radioline function blocks for PC Worx, STEP 7, and TIA Portal allow easy I/O integration on the control level.

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Smart Services with Proficloud.io

As an open, scalable IoT platform, Proficloud.io provides you with intelligent communication, networked components, control technology, smart services, and comprehensive data analysis – all with the highest level of security.
Take advantage of the unlimited possibilities of a cloud-based solution for the continuous transmission of process data. With Proficloud.io, you can network your distributed devices in the field easily and securely via the Internet. This allows you to benefit from global status monitoring and controlling of your data.

  • Maximum flexibility, availability, and access to component data anytime, anywhere
  • Access to data-based, future-oriented smart services, such as device management, state-of-health information, and other interactions with the components
  • Secure and certified communication between the controller and Proficloud.io via TLS encryption
Topology: Cloud-based automation with Proficloud

Cloud-based automation – fast and secure

Smart, IoT-capable components and controllers from Phoenix Contact allow data to be sent directly to Proficloud.io. The availability of component data is guaranteed, and users can access it at anytime, anywhere.

Proficloud.io allows access to data-based, future-oriented smart services, such as device management, state-of-health information, and other interactions with the components. Moreover, Smart Services allow the increased transparency of measurement and component data through advanced analysis methods, such as machine learning in the future. TLS encryption guarantees secure and certified communication between the controller, the components, and Proficloud.io.

Remote control technology in a distributed wastewater pumping station

Remote control technology for distributed wastewater pumping stations

Data analysis, using the example of water and wastewater treatment

Current operating data such as the fill level, flow rate, or power consumption of distributed infrastructure is analyzed in Proficloud and made comparable with other significant parameters. Thus, for example, a wastewater pumping station can be operated efficiently on demand.

Status and operational messages are sent to the control room via an Internet connection. Further information, such as weather data, can be received via the Proficloud from superordinate equipment to aid optimum operation. For example, pump operating data on lifecycle or energy management can be combined so that this information can be used efficiently for predictive maintenance.

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Individual remote control stations

Phoenix Contact provides modular remote control stations and application-specific systems for existing and new systems. The solutions take both industry-specific framework conditions and customer-specific requirements into consideration to ensure ideal adaptation to the system structure. The application software ensures reliable operation and secure transmission to the control room. Data can be prepared and presented flexibly with the visualization system.