People will fire up a new UDC 1/4 DIN loop controller, like a UDC2500 or UDC3200, and discover that the lower display periodically flashes an error code: UNPLUG. But what does it mean? Is something wrong?
A search of the pdf version of the manual hints that the Modbus Ethernet communications is involved:
The Ethernet status screen shows the network status of the Ethernet Link. This may be accessed either via Ethernet or via Infrared Communications. For example, if the Ethernet cable is unplugged, then the instrument cannot send up the EUNPLGED diagnostic message via Ethernet.
But the word UNPLUG is nowhere else in the manual.
Written by: Dan Weise
Recently, I was helping a customer troubleshoot the analog input on his Siemens MultiRanger 200.
For common troubleshooting, using voltage values to confirm a zero, mid point and span is all that’s needed. I find it easier to put a voltmeter across the analog input and read the voltage drop than to wire an amp meter into the circuit to read directly, but that assumes that the analog input’s resistor value is a known. For the most commonly used input resistance (250 ohms), the equivalent voltage drop is 1.0 to 5.0V.
Being the guy who actually reads the user manuals, I looked in the Siemens manual to find the input resistance, and it’s not there.
Written by: Dan Weise
It’s been about a decade since the Honeywell Trendview X-Series paperless recorders were first introduced. And as with any product, you can expect some routine maintenance and service requirements that come with age.
We’ve summarized the top four obstacles you may face when tending to your aging paperless recorder, and how you can overcome them to further maximize the lifespan and functionality of your device.
Before you start, make sure you have a printed record of your paperless recorder’s custom configurations in case you need to restore them to your unit.
1. Changing the Clock Battery
If your paperless recorder is getting old, the battery may be ready to be swapped out. Your recorder uses a standard CR2032 lithium battery that is both inexpensive and readily available at most drug stores.
Although this appears to be a simple solution, I’ve noticed when I change out the battery, the system resets the clock to January 1, 2003.
If you haven’t enabled security, you can just login and change the time. But, this can pose a problem if your recorder uses the ESS extended security (usually a pharmaceutical requirement). When an ESS-enabled recorder resets back to Jan 1, 2003, no user, not even an administrator, can get access to the setup because the valid period for all passwords appears to have expired.
In order to avoid this problem, it is best to plan ahead before attempting to replace the clock battery.
Honeywell’s Process Instrument Explorer (PIE) configuration software used for configuring UDC controllers and the UDA analytical controller communicates with the instruments via RS-485, Ethernet, or Infrared (IR).
Since most newer PCs don’t ship with built-in serial ports to connect an IR adapter, you can use a USB-to-RS-232 converter, and then connect using the Actisys serial-to-infrared adapter (ACT-IR220L+). The USB converter will plug directly into your PC’s USB port, but install on a virtual COM port.
Here’s where it gets tricky: That COM port has to match the COM port used in PIE, and PIE doesn’t support ports above COM8.
Chemical seals and fills are often necessary to protect your process instrumentation from harm. But the wait for a custom gauge-and-seal, switch-and-seal, or transmitter-and-seal combination could be an issue, keeping your process offline for longer than necessary, or costing a premium for quick delivery.
We’ve removed the potential for downtime and rush charges with our WIKA-certified assembly station, and improved stock of most popular transmitters, switches, gauges, diaphragm seals, and fill fluids. Lesman customers can experience next-day delivery on custom assemblies from in-stock instrumentation.
Written by: A.J. Piskor
Traditionally, combustion control panels have been living in a hard-wired world. More often than not, the status of a burner system is communicated by indicator lights on a Flame Safeguard (FSG) terminal.
With the increased use of Programmable Logic Controllers (PLCs) controlling all aspects of a combustion system, customers are demanding more information from the FSG, as many operators manage their systems from a centralized control room.
While some customers have traded in their indicator lights for relays with dry contacts that feed back into their PLC, other customers are looking to simplify the communication between the FSG and PLC, while extracting more information on the operation of their burner system.
Here, we will go over some examples of technologies that are available today, and how you can get the information you need to where you need it.
In case you missed May’s webinar with Sartorius Intec on load cells, we’ve put together some of the key points:
Let’s start with the most common weighing element: the strain gauge load cell.
A strain gauge load cell can be found in bench platforms, floor scales, and in some cases, tank and hopper systems. It is the most common load cell used in the weighing industry.
The most common electrical strain gauges are thin, rectangular strips of foil with maze-like wiring patterns on them, leading to a couple of electrical cables. You stick the foil onto the material you are measuring and wire the cables up to your computer or monitoring circuit.