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More Accurate Data, and Faster

Aug. 30, 2011
Users Worry More About How Data Acquisition Gets to the Next Step

The factory floor hungers for data. Factory managers want more of it, and they want it faster than ever with quick and easy access to accurate data that can help operations run more cost-effectively.

Although there might be an uptick in the desire for energy usage data, most of the key sensor inputs remain the same, measuring such parameters as temperature, pressure, flow and level, according to Tim Shea, senior analyst at VDC Research, which is in the midst of finalizing its report on the 2011 data acquisition solutions market. "However, there was a marked increase in respondents indicating a greater desire to collect more data and more data in real time," Shea says. "Certainly we saw increased desire for faster sample data rates, channels, etc."

Effective, consistent and successful transmission of the acquired data is almost as critical a need as the ability to accurately acquire the data, VDC Research found. When asked to pick the top factors in data acquisition solutions, respondents placed communications network capability almost as high as accuracy, Shea says.

Accuracy is the most important factor for the selection of external chassis and modules, and also for plug-in analog I/O boards. The most important factor for data acquisition software, however, is compatibility with the operating system, then ease of use, with accuracy appearing third on the list.

Lynx to Data
8B isoLynx SLX300 data acquisition system with isolated signal conditioning modules includes ReDAQ Shape software. The modular design can be configured with 12 channels of isolated analog input, four channels of isolated analog output, and eight channels of isolated digital I/O using SensorLex 8B analog and SCMD digital modules.

Monitor Energy Use
OptoEMU sensor connects to utility meters and plant equipment to gather real-time, energy-usage data. Communications support Modbus TCP for use in any Ethernet-based Modbus architecture without the need for translators or other middleware. The device includes a utility program for setting up network communication, configuring monitored devices, and entering the connection information needed to send data.

Eco-Graph T features compact flash and internal memory with digital memory and an industrial-grade flash card. Data is lockable/sealable with storage cards for a high level of security. Data can be transferred without software with the use of CSV format, which allows for direct opening in ASCII or a spreadsheet. The free ReadWin 2000 software offers the option of protected data transfers (manipulation-free).

Simultaneous Sampling
DT9862 high-speed simultaneous USB data-acquisition modules have isolated, high-speed USB data acquisition at throughput rates to 10 MHz. When two A/D channels are sampled simultaneously, both channels can acquire data at 10 MHz using burst sampling or at 5 MHz continuously. The USB 2.0 bus speed is optimized for the DT9862 to more than 25 MBps.
Data Translation

DXAdvanced R4 DAQStations include 400 MB of internal flash memory, with an optional USB interface. All models include custom graphics for design of custom display screens. Historical data review includes a calendar display and search tool and trend functions.
Yokogawa of America

GPRS Active
ioLogik W5340 Active GPRS I/O has four analog inputs, eight digital I/Os, and two relay outputs, and uses GPRS technology. Remote units automatically establish communications with an Active OPC Server using a fixed IP. The server will receive and register the device’s IP address, and receive and record tag updates. It has power saving, data logging, active alarm message with real-time stamp.

USB-4702 eight-channel, 12-bit, 10 kS/s multifunction USB DAQ module provides analog I/O, digital I/O and counter functions. It has the advantages of USB-based devices, including portability and easy installation, and includes device manager, WaveScan, which is a data logging tool and includes library examples such as Visual C++, Visual Basic, Visual C#, Visual Basic. NET, Borland C++ builder, Delphi and LabView.
Advantech, Industrial Automation

X Series multifunction DAQ devices for PCI Express and PXI Express are designed to provide enhancements to analog I/O, digital I/O, onboard counters and multi-device synchronization. The devices, which include up to 32 analog inputs (AI), four analog outputs (AO), 48 digital I/O lines and four counters, range from 250 kS/s multiplexed AI to 2 MS/s simultaneous sampling AI. Simultaneous X Series devices integrate up to 16 ADCs on a single device at up to 2 MS/s per channel.
National Instruments

Channel Your Testing
ScopeMeter 190 Series II portable multichannel instrument combines an oscilloscope with multimeter and recorder capabilities. It can display measurements as electrical waveforms or as numerical values. It can measure four signals simultaneously to test variable speed drivers or converters for harmonics, transients and load imbalance; circuits for voltage/current overloading; networks for induced noise and disturbances; and controls for random shutdowns and resets.

Take a Temperature
Microcontroller-based CT89 chart recorder measures and records temperatures in air, gas, liquids, powders, solids and semi-solids using a stainless steel, remote-reading, 102 mm probe. It has a large LED digital display, three temperature ranges, four chart speeds and a battery backup, and can be used freestanding or wall-mounted.
Omega Engineering

LGR-5320 data loggers with 16-bit resolution, 16 analog and 16 digital inputs and four encoder inputs, perform high-speed measurements to 200 kS/s directly to a secure digital (SD) memory card. Using analog and digital triggering options, users can collect data to monitor systems and events without dedicating a PC. The loggers ship with DAQLog software to configure the devices and retrieve data via the USB interface or SD memory card.
Measurement Computing

microNCS provides distributed data acquisition, Modbus RTU (RS-485) master capabilities and, with expansion I/O, control capabilities. Features include a data logger with a backup battery that can archive up to 64,000 time-and-date-stamped values. The microNCS sets up using the Internet Explorer web browser, and has rugged metal construction, RFI/EMI protection and an ambient operating  temperature of -40 to 185 °F.
Moore Industries Int’l

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