Archive for category Communications
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.
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.
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.
Written by: Dan Weise
I couldn’t communicate with a HART device. The configuration software I was using, Pactware, thought the USB HART modem was on COM 3, while Windows’ Device Manager showed it was actually on COM 6.
To change the COM port in Pactware to COM 6, I right clicked COM 3 and selected Parameter:
If you work in the industrial sector, you understand the never-ending push to increase uptime and improve reliability at your plant. Today’s processes require faster and more accurate engineering. Because of this, most companies are looking for ways to boost operational effectiveness and increase maintenance efficiency at their plants.
A distributed control system (DCS) is a control system where control elements are distributed throughout the system, as opposed to using a single controller at a central location. But how do you choose the right DCS? And how do you decide what functions are critical to your process?
Honeywell recently released a white paper that discusses five key features for a perfect fit DCS if you’re thinking about implementing one at your plant.
Everyone agrees that it’s good practice to keep a record of configurations and setups for any field instrument. I’m constantly recommending it to our customers for their transmitters, controllers, recorders, and other complex configurable devices.
Siemens clamp-on ultrasonic flowmeters even have a system in place to make this process easy. By connecting the meter to a PC through the RS-232 serial port, you can use a terminal program and the SITE command to fetch a data file that holds all the instrument’s configuration data.
The terminal program can also be used — with a set of instructions specific to the flowmeter — for viewing real-time operational data, performing device setup, uploading logger data, or uploading configurations known as SITE setups.
Recently, I was called to visit a plant and look at a misbehaving flowmeter. From previous discussions with the operator, I knew he’d saved SITE setup files for every flowmeter installed in the plant.
I asked if the customer would e-mail me the setup file before my visit, so I could check out how the flowmeter was set up. My request was met with a chuckle and “Well, if you really think it’s worth it…”