Product Roundups: Gather Ye Data While Ye May

Mature Systems, Intense Competition, and Rapid Technology Development Give Users More Choices for Data Acquisition

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Every factory HAS data acquisition equipment—from a simple circular chart recorder to a sophisticated enterprise-wide system with wireless connectivity.

With that in mind, I asked a few vendors which trends are driving DAQ today.

Rick Daniel, president of Intelligent Instrumentation, says, “The trends toward higher resolution and speed continues, mostly as an offshoot of advances in A/D technology. A more significant trend is higher levels of connectivity. We see more users using Ethernet systems, rather than plug-in boards. The main advantages are making the data available to more users, and not having to disassemble your computer to install the system.”

Mark Cejer, marketing director, Keithley Instruments adds, “The cost of test in the semiconductor and electronic component market is crucial. Test engineers increasingly turn to hybrid systems to control cost. Hybrid test systems combine communication interfaces such as LXI, GPIB and PXI into a system based on application needs. Engineers can take advantage of each interface’s strengths without compromising development and maintenance costs.”

Jared Aho, data acquisition product manager at National Instruments says, “High-speed measurements and advanced control—due in part to leveraging the latest silicon designs—accelerate DAQ in industrial environments. New systems have integrated signal conditioning and portable PC-bus technologies, resulting in DAQ systems with more functionality, simplified use, added portability, and smaller footprints.”

Web-based technologies facilitate data acquisition and also control the operation. The server need not be a large PC. A single-loop controller or PLC can be a web browser.

Technologies are shifting fast in the data acquisition and recorder marketplace. The good news is that, for the most part, systems are becoming less expensive, smaller, and networked.

An Echo in Here

ProLinx 7000 application delivers communication protocols and embedded Echo data historian, logging of up to 500 tags of real-time data at sub-second speed. It’s fully customizable and programmable, includes C programming, and supports multiple automation programming languages. An OPC-HDA server can be added to allow open access to the historical data. Connectivity options enable controller platforms in computing gas flow calculations, and interfacing to motor controls, drives and other devices in machinery, packaging, and production applications.
ProSoft Technology;

Data Grabber

MW100 combines intelligent, built-in data storage for standalone data logging with Web-enabled Ethernet connectivity for shared real-time trend monitoring using a browser. No special software is needed for configuration and data monitoring. Built for temperature extremes and high vibration, it provides high levels of noise immunity and channel-to-channel input isolation. The system is scalable 10-60 universal inputs on a single chassis with scan speeds up to 10 msec.
Yokogawa Corp. of America;

Knows It All

Memograph M Graphic Data Manager internally includes up to 20 universal inputs, analyzes raw data and stores analog values, counter values or quantities and simultaneously up to six different operating times or switch states. Up to 100 alarm set point values can be monitored and be retransmitted using the six relays included in the basic version. A loop power supply and two analog outputs provide additional flexibility. The process values and reports are indicated on a high-resolution 7-inch TFT.
Endress+Hauser; 888/endress;

Control and Distributed I/O

Net Concentrator system collects data from remote sensors and other instrumentation, and provides process control and distributed I/O capabilities. It stores up to 64,000 points of time-stamped data, and can be configured to store data from one or all of its input channels. Sampling rate is user-selectable between once per second to once every 24 hours. Features include 20-bit measurement resolution, high signal-conditioning capabilities, and data rates up to 100 megabits per second.
Moore Industries; 818/894-7111;

Modbus Data Acquisition

isoLynx SLX data acquisition system is a modular, fully isolated data acquisition system with Modbus RTU and TCP protocols, enabling communications with a variety of existing third-party software drivers and HMI/SCADA packages. It can interface with more than 650 SCM5B analog I/O modules for factory automation, machine control, test and measurement and data-acquisition applications.
Dataforth; 520/741-1404;

I/O Triplets

CompactDAQ USB-based modular data acquisition system can triple its number of available I/O modules. Every chassis ships with SignalExpress data-logging software for acquisition, analysis, and data presentation in an interactive, non-programming environment. Users have 19 new module options, including ±20 mA current I/O; high-speed, high-voltage, and channel-to-channel isolated analog inputs; RTD sensor inputs; and high-density digital I/O; as well as a universal input module.
National Instruments; 800/258-7022;

Field-MountableVideographic Recorder

SM500F field-mountable, four-channel videographic recorder can be installed in a panel, wall or pipe without enclosures. It has a fully sealed NEMA 4X and IP66 enclosure that provides protection against water, dirt and dust. The recorder offers a choice of color or monochrome display, and presents data in a variety of formats including chart, bargraph, and digital indicator views.

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