Sending email messages from the PLC sounds like an easy task. However, very few applications do this on the production floor. This is probably due to the networks involved and using authentication can be complicated. In our example, we will use a restricted Gmail SMTP server so no authentication will be required. We will walk through sending email and text messages from the PLC to Google Gmail. Once in your Gmail account, the message can be automatically forwarded to another verified email or SMS text message address.
Google is removing “Less Secured Apps” in the mail app. (Gmail) If you are using this to send email from your controller, you must enable 2-step verification. This will then give you the option to generate an “App Password” for your controller or program.
Gmail Less Secure App Access – App Passwords
SMPT – Google – PLC Send Email Text Messages
Simple Mail Transfer Protocol (SMTP) is an internet standard for email transmissions.
Google provides three different SMTP settings in which you can send email messages from a printer, scanner or application (PLC).
- SMTP relay service – used to send mail from your organization by authenticating with the IP address(s). You can send messages to anyone inside or outside of your domain.
- Gmail SMTP server – requires authentication with your Gmail/Google Apps account and password. Messages can be sent to anyone inside or outside of your domain.
- Restricted Gmail SMTP server – does not require authentication, and you will be restricted to send messages to Gmail or Google Apps users only.
Restricted Gmail SMTP Server – PLC Send Email Text Messages
We will use a restricted Gmail SMTP server to send emails and text messages. This is located at aspmx.l.google.com. This does not require authentication so a greater number of PLCs will be able to communicate to the server.
If you do not have a Google Gmail Account then you will need to set up this free service. Google Email Account
Now start the Do-more Designer software. This is available free of charge and is a fully functional package complete with a simulator. We will be using the simulator for our example. The actual Do-More PLC will have to have an Ethernet connection onboard connected to the internet. (H2-DM1E)
System Configuration – PLC Send Email Text Messages
Start a new project with the simulator or an existing project that has a connection to the internet.
Select ‘SMTP Client (Email)’ and hit ‘OK’
Beside the URL: enter the server address aspmx.l.google.com and then hit ‘Lookup’. This will retrieve one of the IP addresses of the server. Then press ‘Select’ to return this address to the configuration page.
Ensure that the SMTP Server Port is set for 25. This is the default port setting. The Timeout setting can be left at 30 seconds. This is the amount of time for the PLC to wait before setting any error message. Enter your ”‘From’ Email Address” – Enter your Google Gmail account address. Select ‘OK’ to end the configuration.
Ensure that authentication is disabled.
Ladder Logic Program – PLC Send Email Text Messages
We use the EMAIL instruction in the PLC to send the messages. We will send two messages; one will be an email and the other an SMS text message. The subject line will be different to distinguish the two.
You will notice that the messages are triggered by a one shot.
Testing the Program – PLC Send Email Text Messages
We need to now set up the Email forwarding to any account.
This will bring up a dialogue to now forward Email to a specific account. During this process, a verification code will be sent to this address. You must enter this code for validation or respond to the Email in order for the forwarding address to work.
Email to SMS Gateways can be used to forward your message in a text format. Here is a website that will show a List of Email to SMS Gateways.
Here are some that we use in Canada: Example: 613-451-0104 on Rogers network = firstname.lastname@example.org
Once we have the forwarding address in and verified, we can move onto the last step, which is creating a filter. The filters will allow automatically look at the incoming Email message and perform an action on the message. In our case, we will be forwarding the message.
The first page contains the items that we are looking for in the filter. Fill in the address of the sender, which will be our Gmail account and the subject. The subject will be ‘ACC PLC _ GMail Text’.
Select ‘Continue >>’
- Mark as read
- Forward it to (Select forwarding address)
- Never send it to Spam
You can create as many filters as you wish. Sending to multiple accounts requires only to repeat the filter with the additional email addresses.
In the above example, we used a restricted Gmail SMTP server. No authentication was required so we can send an email with only an internet connection to the PLC.
Watch on YouTube: Here’s is a quick way to send email text messages from the PLC
If you have any questions or need further information please contact me.
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