Modbus is a data communications protocol originally published by Modicon (now Schneider Electric) in 1979 for use with its programmable logic controllers (PLCs). Modbus has become a de facto standard communication protocol and is now a commonly available means of connecting industrial electronic devices. Modbus is popular in industrial environments because it is openly published and royalty-free. It was developed for industrial applications, is relatively easy to deploy and maintain compared to other standards, and places few restrictions – other than the datagram (packet) size – on the format of the data to be transmitted. Modbus uses the RS485 or Ethernet as its wiring type. Modbus supports communication to and from multiple devices connected to the same cable or Ethernet network. For example, a device that measures temperature and a different device to measure humidity, both of which communicates the measurements to a computer.
Modbus is often used to connect a plant/system supervisory computer with a remote terminal unit (RTU) in Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition (SCADA) systems in the electric power industry. Many of the data types are named from industrial control of factory devices, such as Ladder logic because of its use in driving relays: A single physical output is called a coil, and a single physical input is called a discrete input or a contact.
The development and update of Modbus protocols have been managed by the Modbus Organization since April 2004, when Schneider Electric transferred rights to that organization. The Modbus Organization is an association of users and suppliers of Modbus-compliant devices that advocates for the continued use of the technology.
Source: Modbus – Wikipedia