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Sending an Email from a Logix Controller

Wayne Welk1/8/2019

Occasionally we’ll get asked how to send an email from a Logix controller. An email can be useful to send to a specific person when a controller application generates an alarm or reaches a certain condition, or to send current controller or application status information. This is especially useful for remote equipment that may not have operators nearby.

In this Tech Files post, we’ll look at two ways to send an email from a Logix controller. First is using the Ethernet module in a ControlLogix® chassis, or the on-board CompactLogix™ Ethernet port. The second is to use the eWON Flexy 205, a Rockwell Automation Encompass Partner solution. 

Note: Emails can also be sent from a PanelView™ Plus 6 and 7 using an Active-X control, as well as the Ethernet-enabled Micro800 controllers. We’ll explore those options in future Tech Files posts. 

Sending from the Logix Ethernet Module 

A Logix controller’s EtherNet/IP communication module is an email client that uses a mail relay server to send email. The steps to initiate an email are somewhat straightforward. Program the controller to send a MSG instruction to the EtherNet/IP communication module. The MSG instruction then instructs the EtherNet/IP communication module to send the email text (contained within the MSG instruction) to the mail relay server. Fortunately, Rockwell Automation has a few sample programs to help get you started (found in Knowledge Base AID 30937). 

Email to a Single Recipient: 

Email to Multiple Recipients: 

  • EWEB_Email_list.ACD – uses basic method 
  • Email_List_Ver2.ACD – uses advanced method 

These applications can be used with: 

  • 1756-ENBT (version 3.x or higher) 
  • 1756-EN2T, EN2F, EN2TR, EN3TR (version prior to v3, v5.7 or higher) 
  • 1756-EWEB 
  • 1768-ENBT 
  • 1788-ENBT (revision 2.1 or higher) 
  • CompactLogix controllers with Ethernet port 
    • Note: The MSG path for the 5370 CompactLogix controllers is 1, 0. 
    • Note: The MSG path for the 5380 CompactLogix controllers configured for Linear/DLR or DUAL-IP mode is THIS. 

Best Reference – Chapter 6 of the EtherNet/IP Network Configuration User Manual 

Rockwell Automation Knowledgebase AID 30937 – Sending Email from Logix Ethernet Modules with sample programs(TechConnect required) 

Sending from the eWON Flexy 205: 

Flexy 205eWON Flexy 205 IIoT Gateway 

What do you do if you do not have access to the mail relay server from the plant floor, or if IT has blocked those ports, or if there are security concerns about putting your controller on the network? That’s where Rockwell Automation’s Encompass Partner, eWON, comes in with the Flexy 205 IIoT Gateway device. 

We’ve previously referred to the Flexy 205 as the “Swiss Army Knife” for industrial automation. One of its many features is the ability to send emails and SMS notifications using its own Talk2M cloud-based email relay server. Connections to the Talk2M cloud can be through the corporate network (wired or wireless) or by a cellular connection. Talk2M connections are outbound only, and typically can work with existing IT security policies within a facility. This makes connecting the eWON Flexy 205 and configuring email notifications rather easy. 

The other advantage of the eWON Flexy 205 is there is no need to add code or MSG instructions to the controller to send an email. The Flexy 205 will simply read tags from the controller. Once the tags are read by the Flexy 205, you can set alarm thresholds and trigger email notifications based on those alarm conditions. 

Since this is an IIoT gateway, the eWON Flexy 205 will work with a lot of other devices on your plant floor, both Ethernet and Serial, and not just Logix controllers. Great for your legacy controllers, like the SLC-500, or other manufacturers you may also have installed, such as Siemens or GE. 

Learn more about the Flexy 205. 

eWON Knowledgebase: Relaying Email and Text Messages (SMS)