IDEC Adds MQTT IIoT Support to MicroSmart FC6A Plus PLC CPU

MQTT support, available as a free firmware upgrade for new and existing systems, ensures effective IIoT connectivity between the field and the cloud.

IDEC Corporation has released a free firmware upgrade enabling new and existing MicroSmart FC6A Plus PLC CPUs to support the industry-standard MQTT protocol. The upgrade can be downloaded to the FC6A CPU, so it is easy for users to connect all types of field data to on-site and cloud-based brokers, and make the information readily available for users and analytical applications. Users can also send commands to the FC6A using MQTT.

Decisions are Built on Data

Users everywhere know that industrial internet of things (IIoT) data acquired from their manufacturing sites—whether from machine automation, building utilities, smart devices, or any other source—is essential for supporting many other activities. Live and historized data drives visualization, alarming/notifications, control commands, predictive maintenance, deep analytics, and more so sites can operate at maximum efficiency.

MQTT is Industry Standard

Traditional industrial poll/response communications protocols used with PLCs and HMIs are robust and useful, but they can be demanding for users to configure and maintain, they may inefficiently use limited bandwidth, and they often do not provide sufficient cybersecurity.

MQTT has emerged as the preferred IIoT communications protocol because it uses a lightweight and efficient publish/subscribe methodology for secure messaging between devices and centralized brokers, making information easily available for all authorized applications. A large number of clients can publish data to the broker, subscribe to any broker data, or bi-directionally do both. The MQTT brokers can be located on-site and/or in the cloud.

MicroSmart FC6A Plus CPU for New and Existing Systems

The FC6A with MQTT capability is ideal for new automation system designs, or for adding IIoT connectivity to existing systems. MQTT is supported on Ethernet port 1, so the FC6A can use existing wired, Wi-Fi, or mobile data wireless networking to connect with on-site or cloud-based brokers. A typical application would publish machine data from many machines to the cloud, where it would be historized and could be transmitted to subscribing mobile applications.

No additional hardware is needed. Users can take advantage of the traditional PLC control logic and I/O functionality, or they can use the FC6A as an IIoT data concentrator for many other PLCs and intelligent devices. The FC6A with MQTT supports Amazon Web Services AWS IoT Core today, with future support planned for Microsoft Azure and Google Cloud.

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