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What Users Need

Oct. 22, 2008
Data Acquisition That Is Fast, Safe and Less Costly

Many users of data acquisition and SCADA systems and recorders are looking for higher speed and throughput capacity for the devices they use. Many are also investigating wireless data acquisition technologies because of the ease of setup and the savings in hard wiring costs.

In a recent study from Venture Development Corp., “Data Acquisition Products Global Market Demand Analysis,” researchers focused on external chassis and modules and plug-in analog boards. The most important product selection criteria for data loggers, distributed/remote I/O, paperless chart recorders, USB PC front-end modules, other PC front ends and standalone systems were accuracy, ease of use, durability, number of channels and communication network capabilities.

For the plug-in analog I/O board types, users ranked accuracy, ease of use, number of channels, compatibility with operating systems and reliability.

VDC forecasts that in five years, 28% of the external chassis and module products and 9% of the plug-in analog I/O boards will be using A/D converters with higher than 18-bit resolution.

The surge also is on for wireless data acquisition devices. Expect to see many more of these in the coming months. According to National Instruments, they have “undergone consolidation and standardization. IEEE 802.11 (Wi-Fi) has become rugged enough to meet the requirements of harsh industrial environments.”

On the SCADA front, security is a real concern for process industry buyers. Security vendors are making great strides in solving this problem, but this is a tough nut to crack, and we do have a way to go.

Patti Pool
Products Editor
[email protected]

Omega Engineering
Microprocessor-based CT6100 circular chart recorders have a menu-driven interface for configuration and calibration and are user-configurable via a front-panel keypad. The backlit LCD is large-character, alphanumeric and has simultaneous digital display of process variables for each channel. All channels are compatible with industry-standard sensors and signals.
Red Lion Controls
Modular controller, with ramp/soak control, provides multi-zone PID control, data acquisition and I/O for PC, DCS or PLC systems, while integrating data logging and advanced alarm management. The latest updates include Crimson 2.0 programming software that allows users to integrate multi-segment temperature profiling for processes in the autoclave, heat-treating, food and chemical industries. The ramp/soak functionality consists of a profile or succession of setpoint ramp and soak periods.
Honeywell Process Solutions
X-Series recorders and TrendManager Pro Batch offers a batch capability that provides users with the ability to view and analyze data in terms of batch. Users can create up to six batch recording groups in the recorder that can be started/stopped/paused/resumed/ aborted independently of the other groups. Each batch recording group supports an independent batch counter that can be used to increment the batch number automatically. Enter batch information at the recorder using internal pre-configured drop-down lists for batch information, the recorder’s keypad or the standard USB port to enter batch text information with a USB type keyboard or barcode reader.
Advantech, Industrial Automation Group
USB-4718 is a dedicated USB-based thermocouple module that supports seven different types of thermocouples (J, K, T, E, R, S, B), six voltage input ranges, 0-20 ma or 4-20 mA current input (to support a variety of sensors), and 16 isolated digital I/O channels. The device supports either USB 2.0 or USB 1.1 buses. With its bus-powered design, no additional battery power or power supply is required. Simply connect the module to any computer or notebook, install the supplied software, and the signal will connect directly to the USB-4718 DAQ device.
This EtherNet/IP-compatible communication interface for recorders and data acquisition equipment passes the ODVA conformance test. The interface eliminates the need for dedicated special software to connect data acquisition equipment with other devices, thereby simplifying system development.
National Instruments
Ten Wi-Fi and Ethernet DAQ devices for remote measurements include signal conditioning and direct sensor connectivity for electrical, physical, mechanical and acoustic signals. Engineers can combine Wi-FI DAQ with LabVIEW software to meet their wireless structural diagnostic, environmental and machine condition monitoring application needs by reducing cabling costs. Using the IEEE 802.11 standard for wireless networks, the Wi-Fi devices stream data on each channel at more than 50 kS/s with 24-bit resolution.
ABB Instrumentation
SM500F field-mountable videographic data recorder can be installed into a panel, wall or pipe without an enclosure. Its fully sealed NEMA 4X and IP 66 enclosure provides protection from water, dirt and dust, making it suited form hose-down and dirty applications. The recorder comes with a choice of either color or monochrome display to show the data in a variety of formats including chart, bargraph and digital indicators. On-screen historical logs provide operators access to alarm, totalizer and audittrail data. Data can be removed from the recorder with a 2-GB SD camera card.
RTK Instruments Limited
+44 (0)1423 580500
System 9000TS offers 1-msec resolution of events and can be supplied as a stand-alone sequence-of-events recorder or by using the optional alarm annunciator features, it is possible to build a full alarm and event management system that captures, records, prints and displays the events for later analysis while providing displays and alarms for immediate action at the plant.

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