Advancements in data acquisition devices

Oct. 9, 2006
Our rundown of new systems and devices for industrial processing applications shows technological advances are keeping up with how DAQ is being used by controls and instrumentation engineers.

By Rick Pedraza, Managing Editor, Digital Media

THE MARKET for data acquisition (DAQ) boards, modules and software is poised to expand to nearly $1 billion by 2009, according to analysis from Frost & Sullivan. Sales will reach $823.3 million, with the data acquisition modules market alone expected to grow at an annual rate of 13.4% during this period.

On the Ethernet front, the market also has seen considerable growth in distributed DAQ applications. Market analysis provided by Venture Development Corp. shows revenues from distributed DAQ applications constituted approximately 20% of the total DAQ market’s revenues in 2005, and they continue to find increased acceptance.

While demand for data acquisition systems, data loggers and recorders continues to grow at an accelerated pace, our rundown of new systems and devices for industrial processing applications shows technological advances are keeping up with how DAQ is being used by controls and instrumentation engineers.

Systems and devices used to measure acoustics, vibration, shock and other signals are now available with thousands of I/O channels. Many new devices now can be mixed and matched, mostly for applications that demand a variety of industrial measurements with full isolation.

Advances in data recorders include adoption of wider bandwidths for data-collection. New data loggers have gone ultra-compact and include internal sensors as a second temperature channel.

USB-based, Ethernet-based and data-logging DAQ devices with out-of-the-box functionality are the latest in PC-based data acquisition. Many new devices support Modbus and TCP protocols, enabling communication with third-party software drivers and HMI/SCADA packages. In addition, distributed I/O is being used more often to collect data from remote sensors and other instrumentation, and to provide process control and distributed I/O capabilities.

Data Acquisition Devices

Product Roundup:

DAQ System Supports Modbus
isoLynx SLX200 data acquisition system enables communication with third-party software drivers and HMI/SCADA packages. The fully isolated DAQ can interface with more than 650 analog I/O modules for factory automation, process control, test and measurement, machine control and data acquisition applications. Communication protocol is Modbus RTU for RS-232/485 or Modbus TCP for Ethernet. Standard communication is RS-232/485. Dataforth; 800/444-7644; ;

Paperless Recorder Improves Display
DXAdvanced paperless recorders feature increased data acquisition and recording speeds of 25 msec per interval. DX100 screen size is 5.5 in; DX2000 screen size is 10.4 in. Capacity of the built-in storage device is 200 MB. Measurement data can be saved onto a USB storage device, and a keyboard can be connected to add comments to measurement data displayed on the monitor. Yokogawa;800/888-6400;

Network-Enabled Data Logging System
IntelliLogger network-enabled logging and alarming system provides remote monitoring and recording of instrument data. The system records critical operating parameters, generates information for graphic and standard Web pages, displays real-time data and sends email alarms with embedded or FTP data to an enterprise-wide database. Features include Ethernet, modem, RF and cell-phone communications options; HyperWare-II icon-based software for programming, communications, data plotting, trending and Web page creation; and low-power battery, photovoltaic, and/or line-powered operation. Logic Beach; 619/698-3300;

Just Browsing
iBTHX transmitter lets you monitor and record barometric pressure, temperature, relative humidity and dew point over an Ethernet network or the Internet by using a Web browser. No special software is required. The transmitter serves active web pages to display real-time readings; charts of barometric pressure, temperature and humidity; and logged data in standard formats for use in a data acquisition program, spreadsheet, or programming language. Features include a probe that measures barometric pressure, temperature, humidity and dew point in a single location. Omega Engineering; 203/359-1660;

Distributed Graphic Recorder
6000XIO distributed graphic recorder views and archives data, remotely, from various operator displays in a plant. The recorder has an intuitive, touch-screen display to enable operators to view process data in varying format; onboard Flash data storage capability; Ethernet communication; a Compact Flash Card; and access via a local-area network, dial-up connection, intranet or Internet. Data is stored in a tamper-resistant binary format that can be used for secure, long-term records of your process. Eurotherm; 281-296-7114;

Pluggable Wiring for Bus Terminal I/O
KS Series bus terminal I/O system includes pluggable connections from the face of the I/O housing without the need for tools. The connector can be removed from the bus terminal assembly by pressing an unlocking tab. Users insert the new I/O component and replug the connector in with the wiring. Bus terminals from the KL and KS series can be mixed and matched on the same I/O node without restrictions. Beckhoff Automation; 952/890-0000;

Economical Paperless Recorder
DataChart 1250 paperless recorder features two user-configurable inputs for measuring DC voltage, current, thermocouples, RTDs and frequency/RPM. Four internal alarm set points can be programmed to activate the two SPDT relay outputs. Data is displayed in real-time graphic or digital format on an LCD display, and is stored on CompactFlash cards up to 2 G at up to100 samples/sec for both channels. Power is supplied via A/C wall transformer or via optional internal rechargeable NiMH battery pack. Monarch Instrument; 603/883-3390;

Power from the Port
USB data acquisition modules feature 8-channel multifunction I/O, digital I/O and temperature measurement capabilities. Model 18200-00 features a 1.2 kS/sec sampling rate. Model 18200-10 provides a sample rate of 50 kS/sec. Model 18200-20 provides 16-bit analog inputs with a throughput of 100 kS/sec. Model 18200-30 provides inputs for eight different thermocouple types (J, K, T, R, S, B, N, E), 2-, 3- or 4-wire RTDs, thermistors and semiconductor temperature sensors. Model 18200-40 features eight bits of digital I/O, 500 V of isolation and built-in ambient temperature sensing. Cole-Parmer; 800/323-4340;

Worldwide Communication
APM4AM-ORB data acquisition device uses a low-earth-orbit satellite network for communication and monitoring of equipment. Notifications of alarm events are available via email, fax, page and/or voice. Data can be viewed securely via standard browser on the Internet from anywhere in the world. It has a total of six inputs. Channels 1-4 can be configured to monitor analog or digital signals, Channels 5 and 6 can be configured as digital or accumulator inputs. American Innovations; 800/229-3404;

Open Channels of Communication
DD-400 data monitor features cellular, spread spectrum and Wi-Fi wireless communication options, as well as a 4 MB non-volatile flash memory. RS-232 communications come as standard on all units, with Ethernet and RS-485 wired communication options available. It operates in temperatures ranging from -40 °C to 75 °C. All inputs include lightning and static protection. Scientific Technologies Inc.; 888/52507300;

Embedded Counter/Timer Board
USB-CTR-15 embedded digital board features 15 independent 16-bit counter/timers. The unit is a true USB 2.0 device, offering the highest speed available with the USB bus. It is fully compatible with both USB 1.1 and USB 2.0 ports. The unit is plug-and-play, allowing connect/disconnect whenever you need additional counter/timer devices on your USB port. I/O wiring connections are provided via an industry-standard, 50-pin IDC connector or via a removable screw terminal adapter board. Acces I/O Products; 800/326-1649;

Servo/Stepping Motion Cards
DASP-52504 and DASP-52506 PCI-bus, high-speed four- and six-axis motion control cards control both servo and stepper motors. Cards support both pulse and voltage output, and RTX drivers in the field. Both support a four-dimension API software structure (X,Y,Z,C axis) that allows users to develop application programs to control four-axis motors and various software and programs, such as VB, VC, BCB, Delphi and Labview 6.0/7.0. Axiomtek; 626/581-3232;

Check the Pressure and Temperature
iPTX virtual chart recorder monitors and records pressure and temperature of air (or inert gas) over an Ethernet network or the Internet. The included transducer measures pressure from 0-200 psi and temperature from 0-70 °C (32-158°F). It automatically sends alarms to an individual or group by email or text messaging cell phones. Active Web pages display real time readings, charts of air pressure and temperature or log data in standard data formats. Newport Electronics; 800-NEWPORT;

Leader of the PAC
SNAP-PAC-R2 programmable automation controller supports additional I/O configurations for cell control, data acquisition and remote monitoring applications. It supports up to 512 points of analog, digital and serial I/O modules. Features include PID loop control, floating point math and dual Ethernet communications with serial PPP. Two independent, auto-negotiating 10/100 Mbps Ethernet interfaces can be used for network segmenting or Ethernet link redundancy. Opto 22; 800/321-OPTO;

Plotting and Analysis Software
Analyse-Plus software allows you to plot and analyze data to make quick conclusions with regard to variability and process control. It collects data by importing text via DDE or by A/D conversion, and allows plotting individual or overlaid plots with multiple y-axis labels including statistics, zooming, Fourier analysis (frequency and period scales), auto- and cross-correlation. Optional streamlined import tools are available for several DCSs, that also import names, tags and sample period. Givens Control Engineering; 905/631-8293;

Follow the Trend
Minitrend QX and Multitrend SX paperless recorders have touch-screens, increased input capability, input isolation and scan rates to 20 ms. They also have advanced mathematical calculations, events, totalization, custom screens, health-watch/maintenance, OPC interface and a standard NEMA 3/IP55 front-face protection rating. Honeywell; 973/455-2000;

Real-Time Recording and Playback
StreamStor Amazon SATA disk controller is a full-length, 64-bit Universal, PCI bus board that controls 16 Serial ATA drives on eight buses. It records in both single and multi-channel on the PCI bus. A modular mezzanine interchangeable interface system can be modified with any number of daughter cards such as FPDP I and II, Channel Link and Star Fabric. The unit features 1 G of onboard memory buffer for uninterrupted data acquisition and playback, data forking, simultaneous playback while record, data partitioning and wrap/circular recording. Conduant; 303/485-2721;  

Digitizer Cards
AP240 and AP235 dual-channel reconfigurable PCI analyzers feature advanced peak analysis and front-end analog-to-digital conversion with up to 1 GHz bandwidth (500 MHz for the AP235). The onboard, FPGA-based data processing unit isolates peaks from waveform data obtained at up to 2 GS/s (1 GS/s for the AP235), and transfer this peak data in the form of time and/or amplitude to the host PC. Peaks are located using an advanced hysteresis algorithm that measures the true peak position and amplitude, and allows multiple peaks to be defined within a wide range. Acqiris; 877/227-4747;

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