Completing many errands is much quicker and easier if you don’t have to go out and back home for each one. And, logically, the same rule is true for industrial networks. Sure, analog and digital communications move faster than the average minivan, but distance is immutable. Consequently, travel takes time, and more destinations take more time. Unless, you can find a way to shorten the journey, or make fewer trips. For example, the Temperature Concentrator System (TCS) from Moore Industries-International Inc. reduces the cost of transmitting multiple temperature sensor measurements by concentrating up to 32 signals onto one twisted-pair wire. TCS includes the Temperature Concentrator Module (TCM) and an optional HART-to-Modbus Converter (HMC).
“As we all know, manufacturing companies are continuously looking to reduce costs. To do this, some are moving away from stand-alone transmitters to lower-cost-per-point temperature bricks. Our Temperature Concentrator System was developed to address the need for low-cost temperature measurements. It provides a precision measurement at less than 25% the cost of using a comparable stand-alone smart temperature transmitter,” says Tina Lockhart, Moore’s engineering director. “Saving real estate also equates to reduced overall costs. At less than 5 in. wide, each of our TCS modules will handle 16 measurements in a fraction of the space required by stand-alone transmitters. Using two modules in a system, TCS provides even greater savings by allowing up to 32 measurements per network.”
TCM accepts any combination of RTD, T/C, mV and resistance/potentiometer signal inputs, converts the inputs to the HART digital communications protocol and transmits the data long distances from the field to the control room on an economical HART digital data link over a twisted pair. All process, status and diagnostic information can then be accessed by a HART-based control system. Likewise, HMC transmits HART data as a Modbus RTU signal, which interfaces with any Modbus RTU-based PC, PLC or control system.
“Besides cost savings realized in instrument and space costs, TCS uses HART—or Modbus RTU with our converter module—for communication from the field to the control room. One twisted-wire pair replaces expensive dedicated wires. Because it’s a loop-powered device, TCS eliminates the need to send power wiring out to the field as well,” adds Lockhart. “Using HART, maintenance personnel can access programming and status information for each TCS channel from the control room, or from any termination point using a standard HART handheld communicator. In developing the TCS, our greatest challenge was to provide our customers with the cost savings they want, yet still maintain the full functionality and exceptional product performance they expect from Moore Industries’ temperature transmitters.”
Because of its basic capabilities, TCS is able to:
- Reduce hardware, wire and installation costs. TCS eliminates the need to install a dedicated transmitter and twisted-wire pair or expensive sensor extension wires for each measurement.
- Use universal input options. TCM can be set to accept RTD (2-, 3-, 4-wire; Pt, Cu, Ni); thermocouple (J, K, E, T, R, S, N, B, C); resistance/potentiometer (0-4,000 ohms); and millivolt (-50 to 1,000mV) inputs. By using Moore’s free Intelligent PC configuration software, custom input linearization can be defined for any input.
- Deploy HART and Modbus RTU communications. These standard communication protocols allow easy interface to a wide range of DCS, PLC and computer-based networks.
- Generate alarms. HMC can be programmed via the PC software to provide two relay outputs. The relays can send a master alarm when the HMC detects one, any or all of the following fault conditions within the system—no HART signal, broken wire, hardware error, bad configuration, input saturated,and input out of table range. The alarms can be set with a time delay, which specifies how long the alarm condition needs to exist before the alarm trips. .
- Use versatile programming. TCM operating parameters can be configured from any HART-based system or, using a standard HART handheld, from anywhere along the twisted wire pair. TCM also can be configured using Moore’s free Intelligent PC Configuration software.
For more information, contact Moore at (818) 894-7111; email to firstname.lastname@example.org; or visit www.miinet.com.