Friday, October 24, 2014

Remote Analogue IO Made Easy

Brainboxes announces the launch of the ED-549, a new Ethernet networking device designed for remote monitoring of multiple analogue inputs in industrial environments. Aimed at test, measurement and process control engineers, it is designed to remotely gather analogue input signals over an Ethernet network, the ED-549 ‘Ethernet 8 AI’ product has eight analogue input channels and delivers remote access to real-time data for highly flexible and high-precision measurements of voltages and currents from instruments located on a process control factory floor or in a laboratory.

Most parameters in the real world are measured using sensors with analogue outputs sensors and Brainboxes ED-549 takes these real world signals and turns them into data on your network.  As well as the popular 0-10V and 4-20mA input devices, there is now a Programmable Gain Amplifier (PGA) allowing full scale 12 bit readings from signals as small as ±75mV.Each of the 8 channels is individually configurable for voltage or current input with its own programmable gain.

The product particularly targets use in industrial process control environments such as water utilities, petrochemical, transportation and food and drink manufacturing, which require the constant remote monitoring of analogue signals such as temperature, weight, pressure and power supply. The device is also highly suited to locations where equipment is not easily accessible.

While some competitive analogue-input products are hard wired to handle either differential voltage or current inputs, the ED-549 offers enhanced flexibility by allowing both voltage and current measurements via user-selectable jumper-enabled resistors. Users can configure the inputs independently on each of the eight channels allowing any mixture of measurement channels, such as three voltage and five current inputs for example. While competitive products will often only allow a ±10V or ±5V measurement range, the ED-549 integrates a Programmable Gain Amplifier (PGA) that enables the device to offer measurement voltages as low as ±75mV full scale, With the built-in jumper enabled resistors for current measurement, the  input ranges are ±20mA, 0 to 20mA or 4 to 20mA.

The ED-549 has a power input range from +5V to +30V DC, accommodating both the 24VDC factory floor supply as well as being able to be powered from any PC or laptop USB port. Dual power supply inputs allow a redundany connection which prevents downtime in the event of failure of either power supply There are three isolation domains: the analogue inputs; the power circuitry and the Ethernet port providing 1500V protection.

The ED-549 can be configured, monitored and controlledby a  Windows computer via its very easy-to-use software interface allowing users to be up and running quickly without requiring any extensive programming or networking knowledge. Users can also monitor the factory floor from a smartphone or tablet via the product’s web-based user interface and the solution is also compatible with legacy software via a Windows COM port and industry-standard applications such as LabView, MATLAB and Agilent VEE.

Other features of the ED-549 include a compact 22.6mm-wide footprint, ideal when DIN rail space is at a premium; removable colour-coded and numbered terminal blocks that mean easy and simple installation; and a –30 to +80°C operating temperature range, which makes it suitable for deployment in harsh environments. The device arrives with its own calibration certificate where each voltage range has been individually factory calibrated by precision equipment whose calibration is directly traceable back to National Standards.

“Ideal for many different industrial applications that operate in harsh environments, the new Brainboxes ED-549 is a highly flexible, easy-to-use and configure industrial Ethernet device that delivers high-precision remote monitoring of independent voltage and current inputs,” said Eamonn Walsh, Managing Director of Brainboxes. “If you want to get industrial data live into your networked applications this is the product for you."

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