Checklist: Driver(s) cannot establish a reliable communication

Checklist: Driver(s) cannot establish a reliable communication

Time estimate: 60 minutes

Please go through all the points in the following checklist. If necessary, confirm with IT Department any information you cannot verify before contacting your local COPA-DATA Representative.
Checklist usage: #. [Quick hints] (point refers specific module/product) Point description.
INVALID bit (red-square in top right corner of screen elements) is set to report a communications problem with a driver or specific variables. However, depending on the protocol, variables configured and addressed properly can also be marked as INVALID in Service Engine - normally this occurs in polling communication and when a driver read request includes access to multiple variables in a block.
You can find details in the Product Documentation topic: Service Engine & Engineering Studio > Status processing > Status bits > Invalid [INVALID].

Hint: You can try to find the variable(s) causing the communication issue using the 'Variable Diagnosis' screen and by adding one or groups of variables sequentially until INVALID status is shown.
  1. Screenshot and followed instructions of error/warning messages shown.
  2. Service Engine driver(s) worked as expected before.
  3. Other nodes (devices/software) can communicate. General network problems have been discarded.
  4. Other 3rd party software/hardware can communicate with the target device(s) (PLC)
  5. Only one driver/protocol and...
    1. …one connection is affected.
    2. …multiple connections are affected.
  6. Multiple drivers...
    1. …of the same type/protocol are affected.
    2. …of different type/protocols are affected.
  7. Service Engine license includes the driver(s) used (individually or in group).
  8. You can find all license details of zenon Software Platform products in License Manager (in zenon Startup Tool > Tools).
  9. Driver hardware and software requirements are fulfilled.
  10. Consulted driver and target device documentation/manual.
  11. Please revisit the following driver-specific documentation topics while troubleshooting:
    - Data sheet, requirements, creating variables, configuration, driver-protocol specific functions and error analysis.
  12. Driver and target device interoperability and protocol implementation are conformant in terms of roles, functional and data/object models.
  13. Driver process can be found in Task Manager > Details tab in Service Engine Primary Server.
  14. The list of running processes in a computer is also included in SIC in 'System Info > Processes' node.
    Some relevant performance counters and process details are also collected.
  15. Searched and followed error instructions in LOGs of the leading Service Engine server (computer with active communication with PLC) related with the driver executable.
  16. All zenon components write in the background messages to joint log file(s) saved in '%programdata%\COPA-DATA\LOG' folder.
    These files can be read and configured with Diagnosis Viewer.

    You can modify the logging level of a component by clicking 'Client Configuration' in 'Settings' menu and after select the respective process name.
    Attention: Set the logging parameters wisely as the time-frame of the LOGs decrease when increasing the detail of the logs written.

    You can also find LOG files in SIC in 'Platform > Versions > Version XXXX > Directories > LogDirectory' folder.
  17. Searched and followed error instructions in target device(s) logs.
  18. Collected and analysed communications sniffs.
  19. You can use Wireshark for ethernet based communications. For Serial you can use Port Monitor (a Microsoft SysInternals tool).
    Always make sure to capture the start of the communications when collecting a protocol sniff, otherwise the capture does not contain sufficient information for analysis.
    You can use capture filters in Wireshark to reduce the size of the capture file and keep other communications private.
    For example, you can include only communications of a certain PLC by using 'host [PLC_IP]' or certain protocol/port by using 'port [PORT]'.

    When other devices can communicate with the device, you can create a sniff of that communication to compare it against Service Engine driver communication. It may ease finding a potential issue.
  20. Driver variables were created in Engineering Studio via Online Import (if supported by the driver).
  21. Target device and Driver configuration did not change after creating the variables in Engineering Studio or before the problem.
  22. If driver supports connection and/or communication encryption: Certificates and private/public keys are configured and storage correctly, match and their validity period did not expire.
  23. Searched in Knowledge Base if a previous issue has been addressed.
Ethernet connections:
  1. Target device can be reached from Service Engine server computer when executing a ping command.
  2. TCP connection between driver and target device can be established when Service Engine is running (Primary Server).
  3. While Service Engine is running, in leading server, the output of command (run Command Prompt as administrator) 'netstat -a -b | findstr :[PORT]' shows the TCP connection with the PLC as Established (TCP only!).
    You can also find in 'SIC > Console > netstat -a -b -n' node a list of all listening ports (plus other status) and the active connections in a computer.
    Alternatively, Windows Resource Monitor shows live CPU, Memory, Disk and Network information about running processes in an user friendly interface.
    Processes with network activity are listed and can be filtered for best visualization.
    Some of the most relevant information displayed in Network is the active TCP connections (remote/local port and address) and Firewall status.
Serial connections:
  1. Local Serial COM-Port is configured correctly and it is not used by other software.
  2. To check if a Serial-COM port is used by a process, g o to Device Manager and open the properties of the Serial COM Port used. In the Details tab, select the property 'Service' and copy its value.
    In Resources Monitor (CPU tab), in 'Associated Handles' window search for the Service value copied before.
    When an handled is listed, the COM Port is not free. Conversely, an empty list means that no application is using the COM Port.
  3. COM-Port settings are identical in both ends of the communication.
If the problem persists after completing this checklist and followed corrective actions, please contact your local COPA-DATA Representative providing a SIC-Reduced Report from the target computer(s) and the result of this checklist – please include any additional information or comments related with the points addressed you find relevant.

System Information Collector is a standalone COPA-DATA application that collects relevant data about the Operating System and zenon Software Platform for troubleshooting purposes. SIC is installed with zenon and can be started from zenon Startup Tool (Tools).