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n our temperature instrumentation Round-Up, “Temperature Instrumentation Is On the Web,” we said, “Almost half of the temperature instrumentation listed below have an Ethernet or similar interface that lets a device jump right onto a network â€¦ Soon, out of necessity every temperature device will have to offer similar capability or be forced out of the market.”
It looks like the same is true in this month’s round-up of data acquisition (DAQ) technology. Half of the products included below are Web-enabled, or have wireless or Ethernet interfaces. While RS232, RS485, fieldbus and proprietary networks are still offered, the handwriting is on the Web: Next year at this time, we expect to see half of the products available with web servers and nearly all with wireless or Ethernet networks.
agrees. They predict the market for wireless Ethernet infrastructure components and network software will grow 34.7% per year. “The evolution of standards, enhanced security, and increased bandwidth has propelled the use of wirless Ethernet into harsh environments,” says the VDC report.
As noted in September’s Round-Up, connecting devices is much easier via the Ethernet, wireless or Internet, and is vastly less expensive than hardwiring through remote I/O devices, PLC networks, multiplexers, DCS networks, and so on. VDC agrees with this, too, saying, “The cost of connecting devices and infrastructure products to an Ethernet network, even when using industrial grade connectors and cables, is less than that of other open standard and proprietary buses/networks.”
On another DAQ front, the flood of low-priced products from Asia is causing intense competition and price wars in the data acquisition equipment market, says . "Asian competitors are making inroads into the market previously dominated by U.S. and European manufacturers," says analyst Sailaja Tennati. "Lower operating and manufacturing costs enable them to offer DAQ boards at lower prices." Frost & Sullivan projects the market for data acquisition boards, modules, software and interfaces will more than double, expanding from $398 million in 2002 to $823 million by 2009. They attribute the huge increase to recent wars and increases in U.S. military budgets, research and development, oil and gas exploration, and the need for safety on oil rigs and in mines. According to F&S, high levels of standardization among the Asian products will result in DAQ boards and modules becoming commodity products.
If all this comes true, then we should see a flood of Asian DAQ products with web servers on the shelves of Best Buy and Radio Shack by this time next year.
The panel-mount Daqstation DX200 provides graphical display, alarming, and archiving of up to 200 process values from external measurement hardware. It has FTP file transfer, a web server, and email messaging. Inputs come from built-in measurement channels and from any hardware platform equipped with serial Modbus RTU, Modbus TCP, DeviceNet, ControlNet or Profibus networks. Applications include replacing paper-based recording systems. Yokogawa
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