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Getting connected!

We live in an era of connectivity. The is a need to know what is happening where and to know it now. This is no different in the industrial arena, where information or the lack thereof can be measured, and it is often a large figure.

Know what equipment is doing, the production rates, down times, fault locations, are all examples of things needing to be known if an improvement in efficiency is to be realised. I still remember an important saying I was given, when I was a newb to manufacturing, “You can’t control what you don’t measure”. It was a simple statement, but one that stuck with me and as time moved on, I learned just how true that statement was.

Of course it is one thing to have the statement said, than do it, and the next lesson was to learn to fear the next comment of, “You just need to connect product A to product B”. I’m not sure there is a statement that brings more fear into the heart of an integrator than that one. It seems that there is an infinite number of platforms, networks and protocols in the industrial arena, and even interfaces with the same name, doesn’t guarantee it will be simple.

Thankfully there are Bus Gateways or Protocol converters which allow two systems to talk to each other and exchange information. These devices however are typically expensive, and while effective in large systems, they can be prohibitive in a small system or application where only 1 or two devices need to be connected.
Renu Electronics solves this dilemma with a low-cost yet highly flexible range of gateways. These units allow a cost-effective connection even when only one device needs to be connected. Typical applications include linking PLC to PLC running different networks, PLC to Variable Speed Drives (VSD’s), and SCADA systems to various field devices or sub-networks. The flexibility of having specific drivers for certain PLC’s and drives, along with configurable data sets, mean the gateway can reduce the work required to program the PLC/SCADA system.

For example you have a PLC that needs to connect to a VSD and a couple of tank level sensors. Your PLC has a MODBUS interface so implementing a simple RS485 network will keep the wiring to a low-cost and be easy to install. The bad news is the VSD doesn’t have MODBUS, but it does have a serial connection. The level sensors have a HART interface and you have a potential aneurism wanting to burst. Oh wait the customer would love to have a web interface to be able to log in and see what is happening in his tanks at anytime. Now before you give up in defeat, this can all be achieved with the help of some Renu gateways. A GWY-00 Serial converter takes care of the exchange between the MODBUS and the Serial Drive, a GWY-800 provides a MODBUS to HART network connection, and the GWY-610 provides a MODBUS to Ethernet interface and has a built-in web server to allow the customer to have his webpage to keep an eye on everything.

The gateways are all configured with the free software, and you ensure the various data fields you want are selected and are placed into a simple continuous structure on the MODBUS side. This allows the PLC to only deal with the data it needs to and everything can be in a simple group rather than trying to find information in amongst a large buffer of data. It also ensure the network is efficient by only exchanging the data that is needed rather than the entire data set for each device. The gateway can also run different data sets on different exchange rates. This way critical data can be updated every cycle, but diagnostic data, for example, can be every 5 cycles. You can choose which data and when. For some interfaces even data on request (asynchronous) can be supported.

Another bit of free software allows you to configure the webpage(s) in the GWY-610 and ensure the customer can see what is happening at anytime he want to log on from his favorite browser.

Of course you can get these Renu Electronics gateways from CellTec along with technical support, project assistance, and training. So don’t fear the world of getting connected, and connect with CellTec to help find you a way to connect to your world easier.

Solving motor condensation and freezing problems

In refrigerated cold stores and freezers, using automated equipment, and conveyor systems, often results in higher than normal maintenance costs and system down times, due to electric motors having condesation forming internally and even freezing when the motors are stationary. While the problems are not always resulting in an immediate failure, the lifetime of the motor is often significantly reduced.

Replacement costs and equipment down time reduce the productivity and profitability of the system. ABB, world leaders in electrical products and solutions, have introduced the new PSTX softstarter range with a feature designed to solve this problem.

PSTX-Mini-Softstarters

When a motor is stationary, the softstarter injects a small DC current into a winding, generating enough heat to stop condensation and/or freezing of the motor. This provides greater lifetime of the motor and reduced maintenance costs. Additionally using a softstarter ensures a controlled start reducing the mechanical stress caused by typical DOL or start/delta starters. This increases the mechanical life of belts and bearings, provides smooth motion for transported products and materials, and significant reductions in peak energy demand, ensure the site supply network is lessed stressed, resulting in further reduced maintenance costs.

There is also a new mode called “Limp Mode”. This ensures even if there is a failure on one of the drive thyristors (the electronic driver element for each phase), the softstarter can still operate until repaired at a more convenient time.

Other integrated features include, detachable operator panel, integrated bypass contactor, Electronic overload, even application set-up wizards, all providing fast and compact installation, set-up, commissioning, and diagnostics.

Reducing maintenance costs and increasing uptime, all goes straight to the bottom line in increased profits. and operation productivity.

Another solution from CellTec. Engineering. Automation. Safety

Fieldbus connectivity for optical distance sensors

Fieldbus connectivity for optical distance sensors

New interface cables and modular interfacing units from the MA 200i family now facilitate the integration of optical distance sensors from Leuze electronic into Ethernet and fieldbus environments. With the MA 200i gateway, sensors with RS 232 interfaces, for example the ODSL 9, ODS 96B or ODSL 30, are connected easily via an interface cable with industrial-grade M12 connection technology – meaning sometimes complicated and error-prone wiring is unnecessary. Gateways from the MA 200i family are modular interfacing units which allow for simple and comfortable access to Ethernet, PROFIBUS and PROFINET networks. The new fieldbus connectivity for Leuze electronic distance sensors is a perfectly balanced package solution with maximum sensor performance on the fieldbus level.

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