Archive for category Configuration
Recently, we’ve run into a few radar level applications that had some startup challenges, mostly because the person installing the transmitter didn’t consider how radar wave transmission would affect the level transmitter’s performance.
One trick to any installation is to reduce the number of obstructions encountered by the transmitter. But you have to take into consideration that radar waves don’t transmit in a concentric circle around the transmitter. And this can create a problem of its own.
Recently, a refinery customer came to use with a level application. Our team determined that it would be a perfect fit for radar level gauges, IF they turned on a Siemens radar algorithm called CLEF, that would let the radar measure accurately all the way to the bottom of the tank.
What is CLEF? How does it work? And why does it matter?
It was bound to happen sooner or later.
I took a call from a customer who needed to replace a garden variety differential pressure transmitter… with one exception: He needed Honeywell’s DE digital protocol for communicating to his DCS. The DE protocol is still great, but since so many installations today use HART or Foundation Fieldbus, all of our in-stock pressure transmitters had a HART communication card – a critical mismatch to what the customer needed.
A year ago, we would have been stuck rush-ordering a unit from the factory, with all the attendant delays and expediting charges, because you couldn’t swap out a comms card without making the transmitter’s hazardous approval invalid.
What could we do?
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Lots of people like the pushbuttons on industrial pressure transmitters because the basic settings that every transmitter needs can be set up without a HART communicator. This includes things like the tag name, engineering units, LRV (Lower Range Value, the zero, or what 4.0mA represents), URV (Upper Range Value, the span, or what 20.0mA represents) and damping (an average or filter factor that dampens noise).
On the new Honeywell ST700/ST800 series smart transmitters, the tag name and engineering units are easy to configure and self explanatory, but I seem to stumble when setting up the LRV and URV because I’m faced with a non-descript choice. There’s two sets of options (under Transmitter Setup, not Calibration):
OK, either configures an LRV or a URV value, but which is which? What’s the difference?
The HART communication protocol has been firmly established as the standard means of configuring field instruments for some years. But talking to a field instrument needs a communicator.
There are the handheld communicators, Rosemount’s x75s and the “budget-priced” Meriam MFC 4150, but at a cost that’s more a capital appropriation than an MRO expense. Even the Meriam, with a 3-year field device description subscription starts at more than $4000.
People continue to ask me if there isn’t a more budget conscious approach to HART configuration.
When you’re making programming changes to a field device, you don’t always have time to wait. Here’s a hidden feature that helps you speed up the process between Siemens SIMATIC PDM and HART field instruments.
Normally, when you’re using PDM software, it takes a minute or so to upload or download changes to and from your HART devices. Seems like an eternity when all you need to do is change a range.
So, I’m going to let you in on a feature you might not have seen before.