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How Smart Can You Get? The Newest in Data Recorders

Oct. 30, 2012
The GX and GP Products Are the First of a New SmartDAC+ Product Family

Yokogawa has released the GX and GP Series of digital data acquisition systems, products that go far beyond functionality of the original paperless recorder. Complementing Yokogawa's DXA Advanced R4 series, the GX and GP bring some features that are not in the DXA, such as the special touchscreen interface, field-upgradable modular I/O, SD memory, a real-time data web monitor and network printer report printing.

"The GX and GP products are the first of a new SmartDAC+ product family," says Steve Byrom, data acquisition product manager. "They incorporate a Smart User Interface, Smart Architecture and Smart Functionality design principles. The fully modular I/O architecture captures all measurement and output functions and field wiring terminations within a compact field-replaceable and -upgradeable module. This means that customers can buy the functionality they need today and add more capacity when needed.

The GP 20 is a member of the new SmartDAC+ product family of digital data acquisition systems.

The GX10 and GX20 are NEMA 4-rated when panel-mounted and feature a 5.7-in. touchscreen for the GX10 and a 12.1-in. touchscreen for the GX20. The GP10 (with the 5.7-in. screen) and GP20 (with the 12.1-in. screen) are portable versions designed for use in the lab or on the test bench. "The technical challenge for our designers," Byrom says, "was incorporating the range of functionality needed along with our high standard for electrical performance into a compact module footprint."

SmartDAC+ products use unique and proprietary resistive touchscreen technology that allows swipe control and finger-pinch in/out control for fast navigation and viewing of data displays. The displays can be configured for up to six display modes with up to 20 multi-channel views. The user interface was designed by human factors engineers, who incorporated the latest thinking into the data presentation, following color universal design principles. The color selection for the highly important overview display was chosen to enhance normal data recognition and to capture the user's attention for important data such as alarm conditions. All operations begin with the blue Menu button, which calls up a screen full of touch menus for all display and operating functions. Glowing blue during normal operation, the Menu button blinks red when there is an alarm condition.

Operators have several ways to annotate the data and leave messages, including pre-stored messages, custom messages, and if they like, they can enter a freehand annotation using a pen-stylus tool. Mouse capability is also built into the GX and GP.

The new-design modular I/O architecture allows users to add input channels and alarm relays in any combination at any time, up to the maximum for the product. Each module is accessible from the rear of the device. A 10-channel universal input module supports a full range of thermocouple, RTD and DCV sensor measurements, as well as mA inputs with external shunt resistors. A 16-channel digital input and six-channel relay output module are also available. GX and GP20 units support up to 10 modules for a capacity of 100 input channels. The smaller GP and GX10 models support up to three modules for an input capacity of 30 channels. Configuration is done through the touch setting menus on the display.

GX and GP products are network-capable and can send data and PDF-formatted reports to other network devices and network-enabled printers for automatic generation of printed reports. Because the network interface is standard Ethernet, the devices support a full range of functions that include web server, FTP file transfer, email messaging and Modbus TCP client/server connectivity. The web server functions allow users to access real-time displays, including trend history, with their web browser. They also can change settings in a browser-based environment with no special software.

For more functionality, Yokogawa is offering, as a free download, GA10 file viewing and configuration software, similar to the DAQStandard software that supports the DXA product lines. GA10 is a standalone product with some overlapping functions with DAQStandard, but it was designed from the ground up to support the GX/GP products. The viewer supports viewing and downloading of the proprietary secure digital binary data files of the GX and GP with a wide variety of functions, including maths, reporting and configuration. Data can be converted to Excel using GA10 software.

For more information, contact Yokogawa at www.yokogawa.com.

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