February 25th, 2012
We are pleased to inform you of some new features included in the latest firmware release 2.40.2 for the CMC-99 and CMC-141 Multicon devices.
The phasor charts allow for intuitive presentation of phase/amplitude between signals. Each arrow is controlled by 2 Log channels – one for phase, and the second one for amplitude. Thanks to such solution a singular group can be easily used to show parameters of three-phase supply grid.
Background Colours can easily be changed
In the pictures below it is shown that Logical channels can be displayed in other colours than default. This functionality is intended to indicate different states of a channel. The colour of the channel background is controlled by another channel, this gives a unique opportunity to use this feature for many purposes. More interestingly each background may be configured to be shown in a permanent or a blinking mode. Settings of the colour and controlling channel can be easily done by additional menus in the configuration setup.
We have extended the time scale of the time charts – the new range is 19sec up to 24h. In fact this tool was improved in order not to allow analysis of historical data, but to give an opportunity to see last N minutes (or hours) of the signal on the touch screen, without using the DAQ Manager PC Software.
Quick exit from Menu
And the last, but also very useful feature which has just been introduced is a possibility to exit the configuration menu without saving it. This saves a lot of time during configuration process. If user exits the configuration menu (and has changed something), then appropriative message is displayed, and after that a special “tool” icon is visible on the upper bar (see picture below). This increases the, already quick, programming time!
For more information on the CMC-99 and CMC-141 Multicon devices please visit the appropriate page on the website here: http://www.impress-sensors.co.uk/cmc-99-multichannel-pid-controller.htm
February 13th, 2012
In the previous articles we presented the device design and options of presentation of results and operation using the touch panel. To have a full picture of huge potential of MultiCon, now we will focus on processing measurement data, control functions and possibilities of cooperation in network systems.
The distinguishing feature of MultiCon is its capability of simultaneous implementation of tasks related to measurements, processing, control and recording of data. To make this possible, the designers have used the concept of “logical channels” which are virtual bridge between physical inputs/outputs and control and visualization processes. An expanded configuration menu of logical channels allows for a very precise configuration. It will not suffice to mention the names, units of measure, precision of displayed data or ranges of indicators and graphs. The designers provided for easy rescaling of collected data, as well as filtering or data hold controlled by another channel.
In the MultiCon devices, it is the user who decides how to use the available logical channels. The parameter which allows to select the channel function is the “operation mode”. It can be set so that the logical channel: represents the data from physical inputs and outputs; processes the data from other logical channels using the mathematical and logical functions; generates constant values (set points) or sequence diagrams (profiles); works in the PID controller mode; constitutes a virtual function key. Relationships between channels (including mathematical operations on the values) can be set directly in the device and it is not necessary to know any programming language. As the essence of any data processing is mathematical operations in the device, many standard functions have been provided to build complex algorithms.
In addition to the basic mathematical functions, such as addition, subtraction, multiplication and division, the device allows, amongst others, to use trigonometric functions, calculate the mean or maximum or minimum value from any number of channels, as well as logical functions or comparison and election. The source of data in mathematical functions can be of course other logical channels and constant values set in the menu. One of the most important functions of MultiCon is a controlled configuration menu of built-in outputs (e.g. relays) which allows to use them directly as so-called two-position controllers.
Free combination between inputs and outputs allows to create easily multi-channel controllers operating totally independently. In addition, the concept of logical channels provides an opportunity of making many outputs (including outputs of different types) dependent on a single input channel, and introduction of mathematical operations significantly expands the control options.
In addition to ordinary ON/OFF control using binary signals, MultiCon allows PID control using built-in and external analogue outputs or SSR outputs in the PWW mode. Each of 60 logical channels can be set in the PD, PI, PID controller modes with an independent set point, input and output. The user can choose from 8 sets of PID control parameters (available in the “Controllers” submenu) each of which can be assigned to many logical channels operating in the controller mode. This is a perfect solution when many similar processes need to be controlled. The MultiCon can work then as a unique multi-channel PID controller.
For more information on the CMC-99 and CMC-141 MultiCon devices please visit the website page for more infaormtation: http://www.impress-sensors.co.uk/cmc-99-multichannel-pid-controller.htm
February 13th, 2012
In the previous article we presented a concept and features of the MultiCon series devices and the outline of their possibilities obtained as a result of well developed software and a modular design. This part will describe other advantages, including simple operation and configuration using a TFT with a touch screen, a thing well know from such devices as smartphones or tablets.
Easy change of data presentation and displayed channels is a feature which might be useful in many cases. MultiCon offers numerous possibilities in this area – the basic function is bringing up the contextual menu by touching the display briefly. Then, a set of buttons appears on the bottom of the screen to switch between the display modes, channel groups or to enter the menu.
The “MODE” buttons allow a quick selection of data presentation method on the screen. Depending on whether we need a detailed information on the signal value, quick insight into the signal level, or parameter trend over time, the data can be presented.
In the first four modes, the panels present in a clear manner the name and the unit of measure which are specified and entered by the user, its graphical or numerical representation, and in addition a percent value in relation to a set level. The last mode allows to present as numbers up to 30 channels on one screen. This mode is particularly comfortable in MultiCon-141 equipped with a large 5.7” display.
The time graph data presentation mode is useful for recording operation. Depending on the configuration, the graph background can be black and the graph itself can be set as horizontal or vertical to maintain conformity with traditional paper recorders. The user can also set the line thickness. For the sake of clarity of results, the measurement channels are assigned to groups. The “GROUP” buttons are used to select the group which will be displayed. A mimic board view with 30 channels from groups from 1 to 5. Using the “GROUP” buttons will change the range of displayed channels; this also applies to all other data display modes.
MultiCon CMC-99 has 10 groups, and MultiCon CMC-141 has 15. A single group can contain maximum 6 channels, but the channel assignment to groups is not restricted, and the same channel can be displayed in many groups, providing the user with full flexibility to group various indications (e.g. one room, the same equipment, groups of measurements of the same type, etc.). Selecting the number of channels assigned to a group, we can obtain different sizes of various indicators.
The MultiCon series device equipped with the ACM (advanced communications module) allow also a very easy remote monitoring of measurement results usinf a web browser, as well as a very attractive graphical presentation in the form of built-in or user-created websites. Along witht he device, the manufacturer supplies a set of built-in Java applets which using the modbus TCP protocol provide the programmers with an easy mechanism to retrieve data from the device, as well as ready-to-use formats of data presentation on the computer screen.
In order to facilitate the use of their own websites by the users who do not know HTML, we have prepared a few standard examples which are distributed with the free DAQ manager software used to manage the data recorded.
It is necessary to mention one more data display mode – “Setpoint” – although it is more related to the channel operation mode than the presentation of the results. Touching the screen in the field of such configured channel, the user can in no time at all change a fixed value assigned to the channel (e.g. a threashold in the controller). In addition, this mode can be mixed with binary data presentation as described above which allows an easy definition of function keys on the screen. The other interesting feature of the “Setpoint” mode is access to the settings. Depending on the needs, the admin can configure a channel so that the changes are made only by authorised users or any operator, also the one who does not know the password.
As a piece of interesting information, let us here present a “trick”. A quick access to group settings or settings of channels in a group. Instead of entering the menu and selecting the channel from the list, you can just touch and hold the screen in the area of the channel that interests you and you immediately enter the editing of this channels parameters. Operation of the group is similar: press and hold the top bar on the group name and you enter the relevant submenu.
For more information in the products or a copy of the manual and software please visit the website: http://goo.gl/1I0ox
February 12th, 2012
The MultiCon series devices are advanced meters, controllers and recorders closed in one compact case. They have been designed for both advanced and less demanding applications in industrial automatic control engineering. They feature a colour TFT display with a touch screen (3.5 on the CMC-99 or 5.7 inch on the CMC-141). Such a GUI is a pleasure to work with, and the operation of the MutiCon playing the HMI role is intuitive and comfortable. The kernel of the software is LINUX operating system, which ensures stable operation and enables installing advanced software.
CMC-99 multicon process indicator and controller image
At first glance, the absence of any keys on the instrument front panel comes as a surprise. However, operation using the touch screen is much more efficient and comfortable. The operation philosophy is analogous to generally known windows systems: hitting (clicking on) appropriate menu keys, sliders to move the screens, etc. If, however, you are not happy with the touch screen, a traditional keyboard and a mouse can be connected to the instrument through USB ports to make the operation extremely simplified.
Despite its compact dimensions the instrument has huge application possibilities. A well-thought-out modular design allows precise adaptation of the CMC to various specific needs and requirements of all customers. Available is a wide array of input and output modules (current, voltage, universal, thermocouple, RTD, digital, counting, relay, SSR and other).
In its most expanded version, a single, compact CMC-99 instrument can include modules which provide in total up to 48 physical inputs and outputs (analogue, digital and relay). Its slightly bigger brother, CMC-141, can have fifty percent more inputs and outputs. Figure 2 shows the CMC-99 rear panel for one of the most typical configurations often ordered by our customers.
You do not need to use all slots; what’s more, when a modification becomes necessary all you need to do is send the instrument to our factory and we will introduce the changes, adding, removing or replacing modules.
The most demanding users, for whom a single RS-485 interface in the standard version is not enough, can choose the ACM (Advanced Communication Module) with additional communication interfaces: Ethernet, USB, RS-485 and RS-232 shared with another RS-485.
Using the Modbus RTU, the MultiCon CMC can read data and control outputs of other devices in the network. External inputs/outputs (i.e. inputs and outputs for other devices) are particularly useful when there is a need to control a large number of physical execution units or collect data from distant sources. The number of these inputs/outputs is counted independently of the inputs/outputs available on the built-in modules. This additionally augments the potential of MultiCon which is powerful already. In this way, using a MultiCon CMC you can build an advanced network system where you can monitor the operation of the whole from any place on the planet, e.g. via Internet.
Each MultiCon can work also as a data recorder. Its internal memory of 1.5 GB is sufficient for over 125 million of samples, meaning that even in the intensive sampling mode (every second) you can record data, for example, from 24 channels for 2 months.
Block internal design
In order to understand why such a small device meets so many different requirements, it is necessary to have a closer look at its internal design. The heart of the device is a powerful, 32-bit ARM9 processor to which typical peripherals are connected: flash memory with firmware, flash memory for data recorder, RAM, TFT graphic display with a touch screen, power supply systems, basic communication interfaces, etc.
Please note, however, the way the I/O modules are connected. To reduce the load on the CPU and ensure fast implementation of system tasks, including immediate response of the TFT display (the laboratory tests of hardware possibilities have proved that e.g. viewing films or cooperation with a USB internet camera with advance processing and image displaying in real time is not a problem), all optional measurement and communication modules are equipped and supported by their own efficient RISC processors (AVR family) and they are connected with the main processor via a fast serial bus. Therefore, all tasks related to e.g. A/D processing, calibration, transmission frames support, etc. are performed directly on the modules. As a result, even with the maximum number of modules connected, the device speed is not affected, and expanded internal firmware of the modules ensures very good accuracy and stability of measurements.
Such a design solution allows also an easy introduction of a very important element: galvanic separation of all external connections in all modules to significantly increase the device functionality and flexibility.
After powering on, the operating system is loaded from the flash memory to RAM, followed by the application software. The before-mentioned, specially designed bus connecting the modules, including an internal communication protocol, allows an immediate detection, identification and recording of each newly installed module. Suitable configuration modules are activated simultaneously which ensures full implementation of the PnP function.
The device system is based on Linux, which allows – with suitably thought-out software – to use MultiCon to implement even many independent tasks at the same time (also in large multi-channel systems).
For detailed description of more interesting software functionalities (including logical channels, mathematical operations on channels, timers, profile generators, single and multiple PID controllers, etc.) please refer to part III of the articles on MultiCon CMC. As a result of cooperation with the users, the software is constantly developed and new, useful functions are added. Interesting additions or solutions are quickly implemented as firmware updates. A free update feature is provided so that all MultiCon CMC users always have the latest firmware version installed on their devices. The update procedure cannot be simpler: just download the latest files from our website, write them on a pendrive, connect the pendrive to CMC and start the process – the rest is fully automatic.
For more information on the CMC-99 and CMC-141 from the Multicon family please visit the website page here: http://goo.gl/kAb1e
January 27th, 2012
Instrumentation specialist Impress Sensors & Systems Ltd has launched a new compact, multi-channel controller with large touchscreen colour TFT display and up to 72 digital inputs/outputs. The controller is therefore ideal for the simultaneous measurement and control of a wide variety of process engineering applications.
The new CMC-141 controller is the ‘big brother’ of the CMC-99, providing all the same functionality and features, but also offering a larger 5.7-inch (320 x 240 pixels) backlit display, more inputs/outputs (up to 72) and new types of logic channels. The CMC-141 now provides brand new channels, including a universal input card that can accommodate a range of sensor inputs. New counter inputs are provided too, as well as additional flow meter and rate meter inputs. Despite these extra features, the CMC-141 is still housed in a compact enclosure with the same panel insertion depth (100mm) as the CMC-99.
New CMC-141 multi-channel controller has a larger display and more I/O options
Sam Drury, Sales & Marketing Director at Impress Sensors & Systems comments: “Another added value feature of the CMC-141 is that it comes with JAVA applets, which can be embedded into any website or HTML-based web page, allowing users to remotely access real time data from the controller via the Ethernet interface and a web browser.”
The CMC-141 can simultaneously record all channel data at a maximum speed of 10Hz (ten samples per second). The unit provides up to 1.5GB of internal data memory, which is sufficient to continuously save data from all input channels at a speed of 1 sample per second for more than 2 months (125,000,000 samples in total). The operator can download saved data using a USB flash memory disk or remotely via Ethernet.
The CMC-141 provides three card slots on the reverse of the controller, each comprising 24 I/O pin options, which enable the user to choose any combination of inputs and outputs to suit the application. For example, up to 72 analogue current or voltage inputs could be used; up to 36 relay/SSR outputs; 36 thermocouple inputs; 18 RTD inputs; or a combination of these. The unit also incorporates a 24V DC digital input, enabling relays and triggers to be set up.
The CMC-141 is low cost compared to existing alternatives on the market and is ideal for a wide range of process applications, including centralised temperature measurement and control; multi-zone heating control; intermediate pumping station control; spraying and heating control for greenhouses; control of industrial furnaces and incinerators; and for engine test cell measurements.
Measuring just 144mm x 144mm x 100mm, the controller housing is very compact, which means the unit can be installed in restricted spaces. The controller has a 5.7-inch backlit colour TFT display and is based on the Linux operating system, with touch-screen menu navigation, offering ease of use and familiarity to the operator. A USB interface is provided on the front of the device, enabling the user to upload or download software programs quickly and easily via a USB memory stick.
The controller is available in two power supply versions, 230V or 24V AC/DC. An auxiliary 24V DC/200mA supply output on the back of the unit enables external sensors and actuators to be connected and powered by the controller. The CMC-141 can also act as a PID process controller, providing a reliable control loop feedback mechanism for a variety of process temperature and pressure control applications.
The CMC-141 also comes with a number of communications interfaces, including two RS485 ports, one RS232, one Modbus RTU, a second USB Host and a 10MB Ethernet connection, allowing the controller to integrate easily with the customer’s existing process control networks and fieldbuses.
The CMC-141’s integral software provides the user with archiving, printing and visualisation options. A variety of visual presentation display options for recorded measurements are available, including numerical display, bar graph or needle gauge display.
For more information on the CMC-141 multi-controller, please visit the website at www.impress-sensors.co.uk or call the sales team on 0118 981 7980.
January 27th, 2011
Process indicators determine and analyse pressure, temperature, flow and other processing parameters to maintain safe production operating conditions. They also help to maintain product quality in manufacturing processes.
Process indicator systems that stop a machine due to a fault or count products reduce costly overruns and improve operator efficiency. Some process indicators have programmable tolerances, downtime analysis, process deviation indicators and mode indication status displays.
The features and applications of process indicators
Process indicators are used in numerous industries and applications. For instance, liquid crystal and semiconductor process monitors are greatly helpful in enhancing the yield of film fabrication and etching processes. These devices monitor different parameters like plasma levels, trench depth and film thickness.
On the other hand, thin film process indicators are mostly used for controlling thin film composition or film deposition rates. These products use spectrometers, ellipsometers and quartz crystal microbalances. Chemical process indicators are mostly used for determining chemical concentration in tanks and for managing the flow from control valves and feed pumps.
December 31st, 2010
Process indicators analyse and measure the pressure, flow, temperature and other parameters for safe production operating conditions and for maintaining product quality. These process indicator devices comprise of a sensor, integrated software and sometimes have input terminals.
Process indicators are even capable of tracking different variables. A system can stop a machine to minimise expensive overruns and improve operator efficiency. The process monitors the operation between set variables. Programmable tolerances, downtime analysis, process deviation indicators and mode indication status are also commonly available.
Some features of process indicators
Features of process indicators include:
• Historical error logging
• Revolutions per minute (RPM) tracking
• Supervisor lock-out option
• Shop floor data entry
Process indicators are widely used in many different industries and applications. For instance, liquid and semiconductor crystal process monitors are used for enhancing the yield of film fabrication and etching processes. These devices also monitor other parameters like trench depth, plasma levels and film thickness.
Thin film process monitors are mostly used for controlling composition or deposition rates in thin film processing. Some products use ellipso-meters, spectrometers and quartz crystal microbalances. Chemical process monitors can also be used for managing the flow from control valves and feed pumps. They can also be used for determining chemical concentrations in storage tanks.
March 8th, 2010
The CMC-99 controller from Impress Sensors & Systems Ltd provides an incredible variety of input and output combinations to suit individual customer requirements. The three card slots on the reverse of the controller each comprise 16 x I/O pin options, which enable the user to choose any combination of inputs and outputs to suit the application. For example, up to 48 x analogue current or voltage inputs could be used; up to 16 x relay/SSR outputs; 24 x thermocouple inputs; or 12 x RTD inputs; or a combination of these. The unit also incorporates a 24V DC digital input, enabling relays and triggers to be set up.
The CMC-99 is low cost compared to existing alternatives on the market and is ideal for a wide range of process applications, including centralised temperature measurement and control; multi-zone heating control; intermediate pumping station control; spraying and heating control for greenhouses; control of industrial furnaces and incinerators; and for engine test cell measurements.
Measuring just 96mm x 96mm x 100mm, the controller housing is very compact, which means the unit can be installed in restricted spaces. The controller has a 3.5-inch backlit colour TFT display and is based on the Linux operating system, with touch-screen menu navigation, offering ease of use and familiarity to the operator. A USB interface is provided on the front of the device, enabling the user to upload or download software programs quickly and easily via a USB memory stick.
The controller is available in two power supply versions, 230V or 24V AC/DC. An auxiliary 24V DC/200mA supply output on the back of the unit enables external sensors and actuators to be connected and powered by the controller. The CMC-99 can also act as a PID process controller, providing a reliable control loop feedback mechanism for a variety of process temperature and pressure control applications.
The CMC-99 also comes with a number of communications interfaces, including two RS485 ports, two RS232, a second USB Host and an Ethernet connection, allowing the controller to integrate easily with the customer’s existing process control networks and fieldbuses.
The CMC-99’s integral software provides the user with archiving, printing and visualisation options. A variety of visual presentation display options for recorded measurements are available, including numerical display, bar graph or needle gauge display.
The CMC-99 is also available with a transparent, lockable door to IP42. An IP65 version is supplied with an additional fitted moulded frame.
Download the Product Datasheet: CMC-99
Product Page: Multi-channel touchscreen indicator products page
For more information on the CMC-99 multi-controller, please call the sales department on 0118 981 7980 or visit the website at www.impress-sensors.co.uk
July 24th, 2009
SRP-94mV Digital Process Indicator
The SRP range of process indicators and displays supplied by Impress Sensors & Systems Ltd have been upgraded to accept inputs from millivolt (mV) sensors such as strain gauges, piezo-resistive pressure sensors and any other sensing device that will output a mV signal relative to the measurement.
The two standard versions of the SRP that now include the mV are the SRP-73 and SRP 94. The SRP-73 is 72 x 36 x 97 mm in size and has a 13mm high 4 digit display. It also has the option of 0,1 or 2 relay outputs which are fully programmable from the push buttons on the front of the device. It can also be freely scaled to show any engineering units to display the reading.
The SRP-94 is 96 x 48 x 100 mm in case size but has a much larger display at 20mm high and also a 4 digit display. The SRP-94 has the option of 0, 2 or 4 relays outputs which is excellent for a low-low and high-high alarm system providing a full control system with 2 simple components, a sensor and a indicator to switch on fans, pumps and other controls. The SRP-94 also has the re-transmission of signal so this can be output to a PLC on additional controller for full PID control functions. The display colour can also change according to the switch status of the device from RED to GREEN which is a unique function on process indicators!
Both devices are equipped with RS-485 Modbus RTU communications which means they can be accessed, setup and real-time readings by a PC. When used in conjunction with the supplied software you will have access to ever configurable parameter and tailor the operation of the device to your requirements.
The SRP indicators will also supply a 24V dc voltage to the sensors / transducers so reduces the need to spend extra money on transformers or power supplies to the sensors! On board maths functions are as standard in the device offering linear, root, square and user defined calculations with a maximum of 20 points.
To see a brief video of the display in operation with 4 relays switch points and the changing display colour please follow this link!
Product Datasheet: SRP-73mV datasheet, SRP-94mV datasheet
Product Page: Process Indicators and displays product page
If you have any applications you wish to discuss or any questions questions regarding this product then please contact sales here firstname.lastname@example.org