Network Connect Blog - Introduction

Network Connect Blog


This is the first Blog installment for Network Connect to answer some basic questions that I get.

Network Connect post are identified by Tags of (PLC, NC, Network Connect, Profinet, Modbus, EtherNet/IP, Rockwell, Allen-Bradley, Siemens).

What is Network Connect

Network Connect is a set of products that allows direct two-way communication to/from PLC’s and Zebra NC products. 

Zebra supported protocols

EtherNet/IP – is a Rockwell, Allen-Bradly protocol

Profinet – is a Siemens protocol

Modbus – is a generic protocol

Zebra and NC

Zebra currently has two sets of products that are NC enabled.  ADC has the EA3600 that enables connectivity to/from the DS3600 scanners and PLC’s via EtherNet/IP, Profinet, Modbus & TPC/IP.  AIT has special firmware for the LinkOS printers that allows PLC connectivity via EtherNet/IP.


EA3600 comes in a few different configurations, but must be purchased kitted with a DS3600 scanner.

  • EA3600 – EtherNet/IP, Modbus
  • EA3600 – Profinet
  • EA3600 – TCP/IP

Printer firmware comes in two configurations. 

  • Firmware only (field kit)
  • Factory installed firmware


  • Does Network Connect Firmware come standard?
    • Printers require special firmware to be purchased for a printer to be able to do EtherNet/IP connectivity.
  • What printers can NC firmware be created for?
    • NC can be created for all LinkOs printers
  • Can my customer buy a EA3600 without a scanner?
    • No, unless they are buying the TCP/IP model.
    • EA3600’s are kitted with a DS36xx scanner and must be purchased this way.
  • Is the ZE500 a NC printer?
    • No, it is not a LinkOS printer and there are currently no plans to upgrade it.
  • What functionality do I loose with a NC printer?
    • Printer still has all of the same functionality it does with the normal firmware. Emulation of other manufacture languages is not supported.
  • What configuration changes are needed for the scanner to work with the EA3600?
    • None. When you connect the scanner to the EA3600 it tells the scanner how it is going to communicate.
    • Need to make sure that wireless scanner and cradle are on the latest firmware.
  • What functionality do I loose when connecting a scanner to a EA3600?
    • None.
  • Can load the NC printer firmware on more than on device?
    • The firmware is the same for a line of printers, but requires a license to install it on each printer.
  • What RA PLC version are supported?
    • Should work with all PLC’s
    • NC EDS and AOP’s were tested back to PLC firmware v24.  The hardware will work with older PLC versions, but require a generic module to be created.
  • Do our devices support Microligix and ControlLogix500?
    • Explicit messaging can be done but has not been fully tested.