Temperature / Recorders

Temperature instrumentation gets fancy

Senior Tech Editor Rich Merritt notes that temperature sensors, recorders and controllers are warming up to new technology in this Product Roundup of temperature instrumentation devices.

By Rich Merritt, Senior Technical Editor

AS WE REPORTED last month in this space, a veritable flood of truly new products is hitting our industry. It’s as if the floodgates of R&D have opened up, pouring out new, innovative and spectacular products into the control market. Temperature instrumentation is the latest group of products in which we have seen such progress.

Networking is one example. Several of the products described in the roundup below come equipped with the usual analog and serial interfaces, plus Profibus, Ethernet, wireless, Modbus and HART. Some even have built-in Web servers, so you can monitor their readings from a browser, and one will send email messages with alarms.

High technology is finally showing up, as the market researchers have been predicting for years. We are beginning to see the emergence of self-diagnostics and MEMS (microelectromechanical system) technologies, plus advances such as multilingual operator interfaces and safety-oriented systems with built-in backups.

Nearly everything is programmable by the end user these days, from data loggers to signal conditioners, so you can tailor many of these products to fit your needs. Programming varies from PC downloads to adjustments on the control panel.

Infrared sensors are particularly loaded with new features, such as laser aiming, on-board cameras, multi-wavelength sensors, and more.


Product Roundup:
Temperature Instrumentation

Ethernet Input Modules
BusWorks 965EN and 966EN temperature input modules transmit thermocouple and RTD sensor data across any Ethernet media, including an existing IT infrastructure, CAT5 cable, fiber optics or wireless networks, without a network controller or software programming. They accept four or six inputs, and transmit to a remote output module that provides 4-20mA or 0-10V signals. Acromag; 800/881-0268; www.acromag.com.

RTD Module Links Via AS-I
The PT100 temperature module has an AS-Interface and four analog inputs for RTDs, is IP65-rated for operation in hazardous environments, and is field-mountable. Connection to the outputs is established through PG cable glands and cage tension spring terminals. Users may pre-address the module by plugging it onto the adapter of a hand-held programming device. It has a function display for bus and inputs. Pepperl+Fuchs; 330/486-0001; www.am.pepperl-fuchs.com.

Data Loggers
Talk to the Web
TR-70W Internet-ready temperature data loggers have a built-in 10/100 base-TX Ethernet, a CF slot for a wireless 802.11b card, and a micro-web server. The built-in web server allows viewing of current temperature and humidity data, or a graph of the last seven days worth of data, via a standard web browser. Stored data can be downloaded via an Internet browser for further analysis using software supplied. Computer Aided Solutions; 440/729-2570; www.computeraidedsolutions.com.

Temperature Controls Go Modbus
Models ETR-8300 and ETR-4300 temperature controllers have Modbus communications, remote setpoint input, dual inputs, 18 bit A/D converter, and four independent programmable outputs for heating, cooling or alarms. Inputs include field-programmable thermocouples, two standard RTD curves, and six linear process inputs. Ogden Manufacturing; 847/593-8050;  www.ogdenmfg.com.

Hockey Puck Transmitter
The Sitrans TH300 hockey puck temperature transmitter has galvanic isolation for maximum process safety in thermocouple applications. If a short-circuit between the thermowell and thermocouple occurs, the transmitter will not pull the 4 to 20 mA loop to ground. It has HART communications, a simulation function for commissioning, and a malfunction indicator. Siemens Energy & Automation; 215/646-7400;  www.usa.siemens.com.

You’ve Got Alarming Mail!
The Mini-Sat field station and AD592 temperature sensor can control, monitor and/or set alarms anywhere in the world as long as an Internet connection is possible. Alarms can be sent to pagers, email addresses and phones. Automata; 530/478-5882; www.automata-inc.com.

Temperature Controller
The dTron 300 controller has a multicolor LC display with background lighting, a PC setup program, and four buttons on the front panel for operation and parameterization. The operator can define up to eight freely programmed parameters at the user level. The link to a supervisory system or a PLC can be provided through an RS485 or Profibus interface. Jumo Process Control; 610/380-8002; www.jumo.us.

Web-Based Controls
The iDR series signal conditioners and PID controllers have an Ethernet connection, so the instruments can connect directly to a LAN and serve Web pages over the Internet. The devices are configured with a handheld programmer or from a PC with an Ethernet, RS-232, or RS-485 connection. Its universal signal input takes ten thermocouples, 100 and 1000 Ohm RTDs, DC voltage and current, and strain gauges. Newport Electronics; 714/540-4914; www.newportUS.com.

Safety First
The Model 3144P temperature transmitter meets IEC 61508/61511 safety specs. A Hot Backup function automatically switches to the backup sensor if the primary sensor fails, providing affordable sensor redundancy. A Sensor Drift Alert function notifies the user if an unreliable measurement is detected, allowing time for the degrading sensor to be replaced before failure. Existing 3144P users can upgrade to a safety certified transmitter by simply replacing the standard electronics assembly. Emerson / Rosemount; 952/949-5165; www.EmersonProcess.com.

Chilly Temp Sensor
The System1010E Thermal Energy Meter measures thermal energy and flow, and can determine chiller efficiency, including cooling Load in kW/ton, coefficient of performance, and energy efficiency ratio. It accepts an independent analog input representing kW usage for calculation of these functions. Any of the variables can be selected for datalogging or output purposes. Controlotron; 631/231-3600; www.controlotron.com.

IR Thermometers
Four models have been added to the company’s line of handheld and noncontact IR thermometers: the general purpose 62 Mini and models 572, 574 and 576.  They have adjustable emissivity, laser sighting systems, analysis and reporting software, nonincendive ratings, and integrated digital cameras, depending on the model. Fluke; 888/308-5277; www.fluke.com.

Temperature Recorder
The portable CTXL Series Universal Circular Chart Superecorder charts temperature and humidity. It accepts inputs from dual thermocouples or process inputs, measures temperatures of 2-120 °F and humidity of 2-98% RH, and can be powered from four D cell batteries or a universal AC adaptor. The dual backlit display monitors Min., Max. and Average values while the 8-in.chart provides 1, 7, or 32-day recording. Price: $795.00. Omega Engineering; 203/359-1660; www.omega.com.

Temperature Transmitter
The Humicap Series HMT330 humidity and temperature transmitter has a large numerical and graphical display with multilingual user interface. The series consists of six models covering the humidity measurement range from 0 to 100%RH,  temperature ranges between –70 and +180 °C, and pressure ranges between 0 and 100 bar. In very humid or chemically harsh conditions, a warmed probe and chemical purge help maintain measurement reliability. Vaisala; 781/933-4500; www.vaisala.com/instruments.

Cool Temperature Switch
Series TSX Digital Temperature Switch provides cooling control with 23 programmable parameters for specific application requirements. The user can define set point, hysteresis, probe error performance, and defrosting with password protection. It accepts PTC or NTC thermistor inputs and has single or dual relay output. Dwyer Instruments; 800/872-9141; www.dwyer-inst.com.

Digital Thermometer
The Model TNC-TM 166 panel mount thermometer has a heavy-duty stainless steel front plate that protects the unit from mechanical shock, and an all-metal case that fits a standard utility box. The unit is powered from low voltage AC or DC. Temperature sensing range is -25 to 100 F. When temperatures rise above the set point temperature, an audible alarm and flashing display alert personnel. Ametek National Controls; 630/231-5900; www.nationalcontrols.com.

Thermography Camera
HotShot thermography camera is suitable for industrial inspection of high voltage electrical systems, production machinery and buildings. An articulating thermal camera head enables framing of electrical and mechanical systems from floor level to overhead while maintaining an optimal viewing angle and hand position, even when operating in tight spaces. Electrophysics; 973/882-0211; www.electrophysics.com.

Port Lets Scanner See Through Doors
The UL-approved Viewport allows closed-door infrared scans of electrical panels. When matched with the SpyGlass fisheye lens, it allows an inspector to scan a panel by looking through the port's 0.62 in. opening. It enables a thermographer to work without the help of an electrician or safety barricading, and with minimal personal protective equipment. Mikron; 888/506-3900; www.mikroninfrared.com.

Temperature and Time Controller
Model 2901A digital controller has five operating modes for time-only control or simultaneous temperature and time control. Users can program for simple on/off temperature/time control, cook/heat and setback temperatures, or hold and cooking/heating temperatures. All operating mode selections and parameters are set from the front panel. The temperature control range is from 40 °F to 999 °F. Selco/ECC; 800/229-2332; www.selcoproducts.com.

High Temp PRT
The Model 5624 10-ohm platinum resistance thermometer (PRT) has a NIST-traceable, NVLAP-accredited fixed-point calibration covering the range of 0 °C to 962 °C. Accuracy, including short-term stability and calibration uncertainty, is 0.055 °C over the full range of calibration. After one year of use, it drifts less than 10 mK at 0 °C. The sensor can be used as a reference standard in 6 in. dry-well calibrators and furnaces. Price: $2,395. Hart Scientific; 801/763-1600; www.hartscientific.com.

Double-Barreled IR Thermometer
The Dual Temperature DT1100 infrared point-and-shoot infrared thermometer makes non-contact hot and cold surface temperature measurements of a pinpointed target area. It also provides direct contact measurements using any K-type probe thermocouple having a mini-style plug. It has a MEMS (microelectromechanical system) infrared sensor with low voltage circuitry. Price: $99. Telatemp; 800/321-5160; www.telatemp.com.

Zoned Out
Model RMA Single-Zone Controller for plastics injection molders has an operator keypad, two LED displays, and discrete indicators for heat output, alarm, degree F/C indication, and manual and closed loop mode.  It accepts Type J thermocouples and has open thermocouple break protection with jumper-selectable shutdown or average power output based on operation. Athena Controls; 800/782-6776; www.athenacontrols.com

1/4 DIN Controller Speaks Many Tongues
Model 3204 has a text display, five on-board process recipes with 48 parameters per recipe, and an optional Amp-meter display from a CT input. If a user scrolls to a parameter and waits for a few seconds, the text display begins scrolling in marquee fashion. The controller then displays a description of that parameter in plain English, Spanish, French, or German. Eurotherm; 703/ 669-1330; www.eurotherm.com .

IR Thermometer Sees All
The PRO Series line of multi-wavelength infrared thermometers can measure the temperature of non-grey body copper, brass and bronze materials, plus aluminum, chrome, copper, cold-rolled steel, stainless steel, tin and zinc. The multi-wavelength sensor, available with optional fiber-optic and laser aiming, is suitable for applications where the company’s single- and dual-wavelength sensors are not able to provide the required degree of accuracy. Williamson; 800/300-8367; www.williamosnir.com

Signal Conditioners
DIN-rail mounted signal conditioners include converters for temperature sensors, plus analog converters, galvanic isolators, analog to frequency signal converters and threshold modules. Multi-function converters and isolators are programmable by the customer. The conditioners have 14 programmable inputs and three programmable outputs. A single input/output module is available that takes only 6mm of space on the DIN rail. Automation Systems Interconnect; 877/650-5160; www.asi-ez.com.