As attaching physical PLC devices to a cloud infrastructure is challenging, we decided to setup a VPN in the IoT lab of codecentric Frankfurt and to grant committers of the Apache PLC4X project access to that.

This document contains all the information needed to setup the VPN and to communicate with the different PLCs.

Network

All nodes of the IoT VPN are configured to use the IP range: '10.10.64.0/24'.

In order to access the VPN from outside, a VPN gateway is configured to accept incoming connections.

This VPN gateway is listening on port vpn.plc4x.apache.org on port 444 and should it should be possible to connect to it via OpenVPN.

plc4x vpn network

Note the PLC4X Project VM and Jenkins build node plc4x-vm.apache.org also dials in to the plc4x-iot-lab network.

PLCs

The following PLCs have been configured and should be available in the VPN.

Fatek: FBs-40MC

plc4x vpn fatek

This device is able to use the following protocols:

  • Modbus (Port 502)

  • Fatek (Port 500)

It is configured to use the IP: 10.10.64.10

Siemens: S7-1212AC/DC

plc4x vpn siemens s7

This device is able to use the following protocols:

  • S7 (32 flavour) (Port 102)

  • S7 (72 flavour) (Port 102)

  • ProfiNet

It is configured to use the IP: 10.10.64.20

Siemens: KTP 400 Basic Mono

plc4x vpn siemens hmi

This device is able to use the following protocols:

  • S7 (32 flavour) (Port 102)

  • S7 (72 flavour) (Port 102)

  • ProfiNet

It is configured to use the IP: 10.10.64.25

WaGo: 750-352 Feldbuskoppler ETHERNET

plc4x vpn wago

This device is not a typical PLC, but more a device making I/O values available via Ethernet protocols.

For our job however it is exactly what we need as it allows testing the protocols without the need to develop a sophisticated PLC software in the first place.

This device is able to use the following protocols:

  • Modbus (TCP port 502, UDP port 502)

  • EtherNet/IP (TCP port 44818, UDP port 2222)

It is configured to use the IP: 10.10.64.30 The web-interface is available at http://10.10.64.30/webserv/index.ssi The login for this is user: 'admin' pass: 'wago'.

Beckhoff: C6920-0030

plc4x vpn beckhoff

This device is able to use the following protocols:

  • ADS (Port 48898)

  • EtherNet/IP (Port 48181)

It is configured to use the IP: 10.10.64.40

Beckhoff PLCs are processes running on a host operating system.

In this case, this host OS is Windows 7 Professional.

These processes seem to communicate with an internal network, which isn’t connected to the physical network of the host.

In order to be able to communicate with the PLC from the outside world, a so-called AMS Route needs to be added. Unfortunately it seems that this route needs to be added individually for every clients ip. As the VPN gateway is automatically assigning IPs to the clients, this step eventually has to be done every time you log in. Right now we hope that as soon as routes have been added for quite some ips, eventually we won’t have to do this anymore, but right now it looks as if we do.

Adding a route is done by opening the ADS Route Editor on the Beckhoff machine:

plc4x vpn beckhoff route 1

Here you click on add:

plc4x vpn beckhoff route 2

And enter the details of the new route:

plc4x vpn beckhoff route 3

Here it is important to give the route a name. The AmsNetId is sort of like a 6-segment ipv4-address. It could be chosen independently from the real ip address, however the default is to use the ip address for the first 4 segments and to append .1.1 after this. So from an ip address: 10.10.57.104 the corresponding AmsNetId would be: 10.10.57.104.1.1. Transport Type should be set to: TCP_IP. Address Info is where the clients ip address is added. Be sure to select the IP Address radio button below. Next thing, you should ensure, is that the type of Remote Route is set to None.

When clicking on Add Route, don’t be surprised that the window doesn’t close, you have to click on Close after that and then you should see your new route in the route list screen.

When planning on using the EtherNet/IP communication, the configuration of the TwinCAT device is described here:

Requesting an account

The PLC hardware in the PLC4X IoT Lab is hosted in the codecentric Frankfurt office.

Even if we wanted to integrate our VPN Gateway with Apache’s LDAP service, this is currently not possible.

In order to get access to the hardware, please request an account on the PLC4X Developer Mailinglist: dev@plc4x.apache.org

We’ll try to create the account as quickly as possible.

Setup

By accessing the following URL with the username and password, provided by codecentric, you will be provided with links to download the VPN clients for different platforms.

https://vpn.plc4x.apache.org:444
plc4x vpn client download

However it is also possible to use other VPN clients based on OpenVPN.

To do this, just download the option labeled: Mobile VPN with SSL client profile.

It’s a normal tgz file, so rename the file and unpack it.

The archive contains a client.ovpn file which contains the configuration needed by OpenVPN.

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