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System Software Push

cstreb01 10 months ago in IQANdesign updated by Gustav Widén (System support) 10 months ago 5

We are getting ready to launch a product using IQAN Software. As we make major changes, how can we push them into the field? Without the customer needing to do a lot of work?

We have a MC43FS and MD4

Thank you

+1

Hello, We have thousands of machines in the field with IQAN.

Most adjusted variables remain during an update, which is very helpful.

Depending on circumstances we have three options we use.

Assuming multi-master, you can update both the MD4, MC43FS, and other slaves all through the MD4 C3 ethernet port.

I know CAN programming is possible but we do not do it.

1. A technician has a laptop and IQANrun. Provide the updated program, they hook an Ethernet cable to their laptop and to the MD4.

2. Install an industrial computer, the industrial computer is connected to the MD4. Remote into said computer.

3. Install an industrial VPN gateway, which is connected to the MD4. VPN into the gateway, gaining access to the IP addresses available to the VPN. This option requires you set a static IP on the MD4.

Cheers,

What about using the G11 module? It is relatively cheap and easy to retrofit onto existing machines by tapping into a CAN line (we normally make a type of "splitter" cable that is basically just a bridge connector joining the G11 onto power and CAN line)


The nice thing about the G11 is that when installed you can remotely do uploads and configurations. All that is needed from the customer/operator is a smartphone with the IqanGO APP installed with a mobile hotspot enabled, then you do the rest from your side.

We got away from the G11 for performance issues. Bluetooth is just a very low throughput standard, we don't have the time to wait. I can see the convenience in certain use-cases though!

+1

Just for interest sake how long ago did you guys got away from using the G11 unit?

Reason asking is, we also had huge problems with the connectivity and stability which made it very frustrating and  almost imposable to work reliably and almost always ended up plugging a laptop into the system anyway to get the job done, so we vowed to never to use them again. 

This was about 3 or 4 years ago and have never bothered with the G11 again...

Until now recently a customer requested BT functionality on a machine. 

At first I reluctantly added the G11 module and its functionality knowing how frustrating it could be, but when it came to commissioning the machine (remotely) I was pleasantly surprised at how well it actually works now. So now we changed our decision on it and run the G11 in almost each and every new IQAN application and have also started retrofitting them into existing machines in the field with great success. 

But anyway you're requirements might be very different to ours (we very seldom use the MD4 displays and I think that is what makes the BT transmission too slow for you perhaps), But for us the G11 is a very easy and cheap way to do exactly what was asked in your initial question.

If you do come up with a better solution please share if you don't mind. This is a very interesting topic.

Regarding G11, its effective bitrate over Bluetooth is a limiting factor.

With the next version of the G11, "IQAN-G12", the effective bitrate is more than doubled.

But even so, the CAN bus is a limiting factor.


For an MC4x where firmware plus application is normally only around 0.5 MB, it is not a big problem.

But an MD4 firmware update can easily be 10 MB or higher, so it does take more time.


A faster option for remote updates is to use a modem with an Ethernet port connected to the MD4.

Just configure the MD4 to Connect to IQANconnect: 

With an MD4 as headmaster in the system, the Security properties for allowing remote connection and remote stop can be on the default settings, Asking the machine user to acknowledge before connecting remotely and before starting the  remote update.