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More Than the Sum of Its Parts

Aug. 5, 2010
Data-Acquisition Capabilities Are Being Requested More Frequently

With more and more manufacturers requesting data-acquisition capabilities, choosing how to provide DAQ for machine lines and stand-alone equipment has never been more important.

"By using data acquisition systems and recorders, best-in-class manufacturers have taken the lead to improve the flow of information from these devices that produce large volumes of real-time process data and store the data in a process historian, which becomes the foundation to drive real-time analytics," says Jack Wilkins, director of sales, Canary Labs (www.canarylabs.com). "By using dashboards and real-time trending, they have improved their ability to detect and react to process bottlenecks or quality issues."

While many considerations must be made before deciding on which components or software to employ, features should be weighed fairly. "While there is no one most-important DAQ characteristic for machine builders to consider, two critical concerns are signal integrity and industrial ruggedness," explains John Lehman, engineering manager, Dataforth (www.dataforth.com). "To ensure information in I/O signals is preserved, a high-performance DAQ system will have isolation to the communication line and adjacent channels and will be tested and certified to meet radiated and conducted emission standards."

With regard to system ruggedness, a DAQ system that can maintain accurate performance in high-vibration environments and operate over a wide temperature range is the optimal choice, adds Lehman. "Additionally, field-side overload protection to 120/240 Vac and a high level of ESD immunity ensure fault-free operation and protect down-line equipment," he says.

DXAdvanced R4 is the latest addition to the DAQStation line of data acquisition and display stations. Standard features include 400 MB of internal flash memory, with an optional USB interface for data retrieval using USB memory devices or configuration with a USB keyboard. All models include custom graphics that allow users to design custom display screens. Historical data review includes a calendar display and search tool and enhanced trend history functions.Yokogawa of America800/888-6400www.yokogawa.com/us
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).
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 multidevice 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 2 MS/s per channel.
National Instruments
isoLynx SLX718 data logger/data acquisition system is composed of SLX718 units and miniature SensorLex 8B isolated analog signal conditioners. The combinations offer stand-alone or PC-tethered data logging operation, along with the ability to change I/O on a per-channel basis for eight signal conditioner locations. Up to eight 8Bs, selected from 90+ input types, can be installed directly into the SLX718 unit, allowing signal conditioning functions to be mixed and matched to each application.
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 Group
ioLogik W5312  Active GPRS RTU integrates a data logger, a GPRS modem and an I/O controller in one device. The push-based active OPC server is designed to conserve data transmission volume when communicating with SCADA systems; front-end data logging and report-by-exception functions also are designed to minimize unnecessary data transmission.
Moxa Americas
DT9836S is the newest addition to the series of Data Translation's simultaneous USB data acquisition modules. The DT9836S is a completely isolated high-speed USB module, providing simultaneous analog inputs at up to 800 kHz per channel or 4.8 MHz total. Each analog input channel has its own separate A/D converter eliminating phase shift between each channel. The DT9836S includes six true 16-bit analog inputs for measuring multiple channels simultaneously and complete synchronous operation of all subsystems at 36 MHz.
Data Translation
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. The system also has a data logger with a backup battery that can archive 64,000 time-and-date-stamped values. The device can be set up using the Internet Explorer Web browser and is part of the NCS Net Concentrator System family.
Moore Industries Int'l
InfoLink LogBook software tracks, organizes and stores comprehensive process status and event data. It captures operational intelligence via an interface that allows operators to record operator comments and observations throughout the course of a shift. Each entry is documented by date and time, and consistent entries also may be organized by user-defined categories. After a shift is complete, incoming operators can access key historical process data that is then stored within the InfoLink LogBook.
Canary Labs
ADRE SXP data acquisition system consists of the 408 Dynamic Signal Processing instrument (DSPi) and ADRE Sxp software for portable asset management programs where speed and flexibility in data collection are needed. It can operate stand-alone in test stands or remotely. It has true client/server architecture, WAN/LAN-enabled, dynamic input cards, an onboard 130 GB hard drive, integrated display, scalability, industry-standard connectors and differential inputs.
GE Energy
6000 series paperless graphic recorders support EtherNet/IP, supporting up to 200 I/O ports with simultaneous support for Modbus TCP. Standard Ethernet equipment means no unique hardware or software is needed to connect to most major controllers and configuration is made simple with setup wizards and built-in diagnostic tools.
dEX software package is Web-based for configuring, monitoring and retrieving data from the dataTaker logging systems. Setup and configuration allows users to define sampling schedules, measurement types and alarm settings for the dataTaker logging systems. The monitor function provides real-time displays of current measure values in numeric and meter indicators, along with historical data in charts. The software allows the user to customize the look of the interface.
CAS DataLoggers
www.dataloggerinc.com  INFO SERVER
Information Server v. 4.0 software is designed for Web-based graphical visualization, reporting and analysis of real-time plant operations data. The new version features support for ArchestrA graphics, critical for those customers now using the Wonderware Systems Platform and InTouch HMI products. It also features operating system support and Web-based graphics built on Microsoft Silverlight technology. Information Server is a unified portal and content server for InFusion Enterprise Control System components. When used with Wonderware Intelligence, an enterprise manufacturing intelligence product, it provides a corporate-wide view of production operations and KPIs.
Invensys Operations Management
IntelliLogger network-enabled, stand-alone data logging, reporting and alarming instruments include Modbus/RTU Master capability to read register values from connected Modbus Slave transducers, power meters, controls and flowmeters. Scanned register values can then be processed, logged to memory, used to trigger alarms and incorporated into FTP, email and Web pages served by the IntelliLogger. Data acquisition from Modbus Slave devices complements hardwired analog and digital signal I/O capability integrated into the HyperWare-II icon-based programming software provided.
Logic Beach
FactoryTalk ViewPoint software thin-client application uses Microsoft's Silverlight technology to extend visualization and real-time decision capabilities beyond FactoryTalk View clients to browser-based remote users. The software supports fully scalable and animated Web displays of existing FactoryTalk View Site Edition (SE) visualization software and A-B PanelView Plus applications from office, home or on the road via an Internet browser.
Rockwell Automation

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