Skip to main content Skip to main navigation


Assessing Open Interfaces and Protocols of PLCs for Computation Offloading at Field Level

Michael Gundall; Hans Dieter Schotten
In: 2021 17th IEEE International Conference on Factory Communication Systems (WFCS). IEEE International Conference on Factory Communication Systems (WFCS-2021), June 9-11, Linz/Virtual, Austria, IEEE, 6/2021.


Programmable logic controllers (PLCs) are the core element of industrial plants in todays deployments. They read sensor values, execute control algorithms, and write output values. Furthermore, industrial plants have lifetimes of one or more decades. Thus, in a realistic Industry 4.0 scenario, these devices have to be integrated in novel systems. In order to apply advanced concepts and technologies, such as computation offloading, which requires data exchange between PLCs and edge cloud, we investigate open communication interfaces of two typical PLCs of Siemens S7 series. Hence, each of the interfaces is analyzed based on plug & play capability, if metadata is provided, protocol efficiency, and performance. For the latter, the smallest possible update time for each of the interfaces will be measured.