Flexible monitoring aids skid builders

FLEXIBILITY WITH A uniform set of capabilities is high on the hit list when industrial OEMs provide process monitoring and display functions with their equipment. Such products, ideally, should be available in one or two base units that can be embedded on the various equipment they build for differing applications. This helps minimize stocking requirements for the OEM, since a small inventory of readily available units can be kept on-hand. This also would give the OEMs customer more standard options when he foresees changes in his installed applications.

Endress+Hauser (E+H) aims to give processing industry OEMs that capability, so it has introduced a process display/monitor and a digital field display towards that end.

E+H calls the RIA452 digital panel-mount display unit a universal unit that accepts virtually any measurement signal, and processes that information to provide programmable indication and output for a wide variety of process control applications in pump control and batch functions.

The unit features a seven-digit, 14-segment, multicolored LCD monitor, universal inputs and up to eight relay outputs for pump control. Other features include digital status inputs for pump monitoring, min/max value memory, linearization table capability with 32 points, analog output, and freely programmable engineering units.

"Numbers and engineering units are displayed in white, bar graphs in yellow, over-range and under-range indicators in red, and the limit value flags and digital status inputs in green and yellow," says Jerry Spindler, business development manager for Endress+Hauser. The RIA452 can provide power directly to two-wire transmitters, and the scalable analog output offers many different ways of forwarding the input signal, such as zoom function, linearization, offset, inversion and signal conversion. An optional pulse output gives the user the option of transmitting integrated process values. This gives an OEM an attractive unit to offer customers, which can add value to the overall design. Being intrinsically safe, it can be used in hazardous areas if necessary and it is UL recognized.

In addition, the limit-relay switches can be configured for operating modes that include minimum/maximum safety, alternating pump control and batch function, time control, gradient, and device and sensor malfunction.

"The unit even has a built-in power supply for loop-powered sensors, so extra devices aren't needed, saving cost and wiring," says Spindler. "The ability to save the programming and upload it to a PC reduces further programming of additional units for the same application. The initial programming also can be done on the PC with our free software and then transferred to the unit. For security, the programming can be locked with either a hardware key or a software code."

Spindler stresses a unique design feature called the jog-shuttle operation. "This new user-machine interface is completely unique to the industry," he claims. "It offers great flexibility and simplicity to the user. It's similar to the iDrive interface on BMWs, if you're familiar with that feature. This is just another way to make more efficient use of the OEM or end user's time when programming the unit."

The RIA141 is a loop powered (4-20 mA) display in an explosion-proof metal enclosure, available in powder-coated aluminum, or stainless steel. The most attractive and unique feature of the RIA 141, says Spindler, is its large, backlit, five-digit liquid crystal display.

"The 0.8-in. character height makes it the largest of its type in the industry," he adds. "This gives the display readability in bright sunshine or pitch darkness from distances to 12 ft." The display itself rotates in 90º increments, so there are no restrictions in orientation for wall or pipe-mounted installations.

"These units have a built-in digital limit switch, offering even more application flexibility," says Spindler. "The units can be programmed easily to suit end-user requirements using the onboard three-button keypad or from a PC using E+H standard programming software for configuration. It"s also available with agency approvals from FM, CSA and ATEX for use in hazardous areas, and is supplied with three standard cable entries for ease of wiring for a variety of installations."

Both products, which are fully HART compatible and allow transmission of the digital protocol so as not to impede any existing HART 4-20mA circuits, are aimed at process system skid builders with applications for oil and gas, petrochemicals, chemical, power, and mining and metals.

For more information, call 888-ENDRESS, e-mail inquiry@us.endress.com, or browse the Endress+Hauser web site.

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