Archive for category Control

How to Avoid Honeywell Process Instrument Explorer (PIE) Software Communication Errors

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.

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Honeywell Increases Analog/Loop Processing Speed on HC900 Process and Safety Controller

Written by: Dan Weise

Good news!  Recent upgrades to Honeywell’s HC900 Process and Safety Controller includes a major update to analog/loop processing speeds. Even though analog/loop cycle time has been 500mS since the early 2000s, early versions of the HC900 controller were only capable of a processing speed of 2x/second.

The upgrade to the HC900 CPU’s microprocessor hardware and an associated firmware update broke that processing speed limit for their SIL-rated CPUs. Honeywell C50S and C70S model CPUs v6.1 will now process analog inputs and loops at a rate of 10x/second (100mS per update). If your process needs additional analog/loop throughput speed, you will benefit from these enhancements to the HC900 systems.

To run at 100mS, a qualified hardware configuration is required:

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Combustion control systems go modular with Honeywell Slate

A typical combustion system is complex to say the least.  It is usually made up of various devices from multiple vendors that have to be combined and connected in order for the system to work.  These systems are not typically flexible and are hard to change once the system has been set up.

Honeywell has come up with a completely new system that provides limitless flexibility with fewer components.  This product has been designed as a fresh start for the combustion industry or in Honeywell’s words, “It’s time to wipe the SLATE clean.”

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Five Key Features Required for a Perfect Fit Distributed Control System

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?Functional_levels_of_a_Distributed_Control_System.svg

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.

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How to Measure Thermal Energy

As energy costs and environmental concerns continue to rise, we count on our facility managers to take control of building/factory energy consumption. To reduce their companies’ carbon footprints, facility managers have begun implementing energy management programs to control their systems, optimize efficiency, and manage expenses.

But how are they doing it?

Let’s say you are trying to cool your facility. There are two steps to determining how much energy is consumed in the process. Read the rest of this entry »

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How to pick a setpoint profile program on a Honeywell UDC3500 controller

Honeywell UDC3500 universal digital controllerYou’ve heard this phrase before: “It’s simple. But nobody said it would be easy.”

And this is exactly one of those cases.

The Honeywell UDC3500 digital controller can support up to four setpoint programs, the ramp/soak profiles used in batch control operations. But after configuring all four profiles, I was stuck on how to select the one I wanted the controller to use.

There’s no “Program Select” button on the keypad. So I was mystified on how I was going to select my setpoint profile program #3.

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Why has 4-20 mA gained so much acceptance and survived so long?

Last month, I presented a webinar for our customers. At the end of Control 101, when we opened the session up for questions, a customer asked about making the choice between 4-20 mA and digital signal outputs.  It got me thinking about this list I put together a while back — one that I pull out whenever customers ask me “Is 4-20 mA still valid?”

The answer: Yes, it is. And here are the 18 reasons I came up with… so far. Read the rest of this entry »

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