Beating the Clock: How to Speed Up (and Simplify) Automation Gateway Configuration

October 3, 2023
Richard Theron

Sometimes, interoperability can seem too good to be true. All you have to do is use a protocol gateway to connect all your devices, networks, and systems, and, voila!

✔ Need to remotely control lighting, heating, ventilation, or air conditioning? Done.

✔ Need to monitor alarms and receive real-time notifications? Done.

✔ Need seamless energy metering, analytics, and control? Done.

But what do you do with all those values coming in? How do you speed up configuration and build reusable profiles to ensure you have the relevant data you need—not just a number but the metadata, too, which is the descriptive information that puts the data in context.

Here, we’ll cover what you need to know to take your industrial or building operations to the next level. No advanced programming or protocol expertise required.

What is an EZ Gateway?

EZ Gateways are part of the MSA FieldServer™ line of industry-leading Industrial gateway solutions. If you’re not familiar with the EZ Gateway, here are some interesting features and benefits you should know:

  • Web-based configuration tool
  • Easy-to-import data points
  • Free preconfigured device profile downloads
  • Saved and reusable device profiles
  • BACnet BTL listed

Let’s take a closer look at what these features and benefit mean.

Instant operability: With proven features like bit extracting and scaling, FieldServer EZ Gateways work with virtually any Modbus or BACnet device out of the box—that means lighting fast commissioning.

Eliminate spreadsheets: Now you can bring all your metadata into the EZ Gateway with the bulk-import feature. No more cumbersome, error-prone configuration spreadsheets to contend with.

Remove restrictions: Overcome device-specific restrictions with EZ Gateway’s dynamic configuration capabilities.

Simplify device profiling: We offer EZ Gateway customers free access to our growing library of preconfigured and verified profiles. Plus, you can save and reuse your own profiles because EZ Gateway makes it easy to import them into any of your devices.

See more, know more: Enjoy more granular visibility and control over every device. The range of EZ Gateways have a very powerful web-based, built-in diagnostic tool to quickly diagnose and get the site up and running.

Install and deploy with confidence: Proven BTL certification means you can successfully—and quickly—connect the EZ Gateway without the hassle into BACnet networks.

Get Cloud-based remote access: This feature comes standard with all EZ Gateways, which means you can configure and troubleshoot from anywhere, anytime. Like all of our FieldServer solutions, this one also empowers you to take your Cloud strategy to the next level.

How to Use an EZ Gateway

With our FieldServer Toolbox and EZ Gateway’s advanced features and capabilities, you can get the gateway up and running smoothly in short order. This helps minimize both configuration and commissioning time.

Full instructions and video tutorials are available for all of our EZ Gateways:

In general, however, you’ll use a web interface to configure Modbus and BACnet connections, creating profiles for each device. These profiles can be shared with other authorized gateway users. You’ll also have access to the BACnet Explorer app, which lets you automatically explore your networks to automatically find and bring in all devices and data points.

Of course, our renowned Customer Support Team is also available to help.

Using EZ Gateways to Streamline Automation Industrial and Building Automation

FieldServer EZ Gateways are high-performing, easy-to-use industrial and building automation protocol gateways. They’re specifically designed to make your integration process and projects as smooth and seamless as possible.

Not only does the EZ Gateway support up to 1,000 data points, it’s simple to configure, allowing system integrators to interface with a wide variety of connections, including:

  • Modbus RTU & TCP/IP to BACnet/IP & BACnet MS/TP
  • KNX to BACnet/IP & BACnet MS/TP
  • M-Bus to BACnet/IP & BACnet MS/TP, Modbus RTU & TCP/IP

So, whether you’re an OEM or system integrator, there’s no need to be a protocol expert. With an EZ Gateway and this information, you can take the complexity out of mapping data points from Modbus, M-Bus, or KNX devices into a BACnet configuration.

For a demonstration or to learn more about FieldServer EZ Gateways, please contact us. Finally, remember that FieldServer EZ Gateways are the first in a long line of future-proof technologies we’re working hard to develop. Keep checking back on our blog as we continue to innovate the next-generation of protocol gateways.

Richard Theron
Richard Theron is the product line manager for FieldServer at MSA, where he works intimately with companies in the building automation, industrial automation, energy management and life safety markets to help them cloud-enable their equipment.

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