Nexto PLC features MQTT protocol support

Nexto PLC features MQTT protocol support

07 Jan 2020

After launching the XP340, a PLC with WebServer support, and adding new features to the Xpress solution`s CAN interface, the Nexto family of programmable controllers now offers a new feature. By upgrading the controller’s firmware to the latest version and MasterTool IEC XE programming software to version 3.20, all Nexto Series products will support the MQTT protocol. The new feature improves Altus technology connectivity and brings your business closer to Industry 4.0.

The functionality was already available for testing on all Nexto Xpress products since firmware version 1.8.5.0. The feature consists of a function block that allows the user to communicate with an MQTT broker with the purpose of performing different configurations, such as determining a client ID. In addition, the resource also makes it possible to perform multiple subscriptions and publications simultaneously to make sending and receiving messages easier for applications using Nexto Xpress Series controllers.

Why use the MQTT protocol?

As one of the most used standards for communication in IoT environments, Message Queue Telemetry Transport, as its name suggests, it is a messaging protocol that supports asynchronous communication between parties, or in other words, it decouples the sender and receiver from the message both in space as well as in time and therefore, scalable in untrusted network environments.

Due to its lightweight and flexible structure, MQTT has become one of the best protocols for developing highly connected applications. While its lightness allows it to be used on highly constrained device hardware or on high latency, limited bandwidth networks, the flexibility found in the standard enables it to support many application scenarios for IoT devices and services.

These features differentiate MQTT from other Ethernet protocols that are HTTP-based, presenting unwanted speed, reliability and performance issues.

MQTT in Altus Solutions

Today, in addition to Nexto programmable controllers, the MQTT protocol is also available in BluePlant HMI / SCADA supervisory software. To use it in applications with Altus products you will need an MQTT broker, such as Eclipse Mosquitto, available for download here.