Sensors & Transducers


Sensor 4.0 – successful digitalisation

March 2021 Sensors & Transducers

The topic of Industry 4.0 is creating high expectations. Companies are looking to use digitalisation to increase throughput and reduce costs while ensuring quality and reliability. Smart sensors are what provide the foundation. In contrast to conventional technology, smart sensors can do more than just reliably monitor and send measurement values.

In order to be categorised as 4.0, a sensor must exhibit several characteristics:

• It needs the connectivity and communications capability to exchange information with other sensors and the network via a second channel, in addition to providing the measurement values. Wireless technologies are becoming increasingly important in this scenario.

• It offers smart maintenance and operations functions, such as self-diagnostics for verification and monitoring.

• Digital documentation is important as well. Among other things, instrument documentation is now stored virtually, providing a fast and reliable way to locate it at any time.

Sensor 4.0 examples: The new Cerabar and Deltabar pressure transmitters

Industry 4.0-ready instruments from Endress+Hauser, such as the new Cerabar and Deltabar line of pressure sensors, possess all of the aforementioned features.

With these new pressure transmitters, Endress+Hauser is making it possible to fully exploit the potential of Industry 4.0. The foundation is secure transmission of the data provided by these new lines of instruments, because this is the only way to keep plants operating reliably. The Bluetooth connection between the transmitters and the Endress+Hauser SmartBlue app utilises a special encryption protocol as a form of IT security, for instance. Manipulation during the connection between the app and the instrument can be eliminated. Together with the new uniform Endress+Hauser operations concept, Bluetooth connectivity offers major advantages, especially when it comes to difficult-to-access measurement points.

Digital assistants give the new pressure transmitters an intuitive interface, making it easy for users to commission instruments on site with a tablet or smartphone. Digital assistants were developed for the commissioning of SIL measurement points specifically to satisfy the strict safety requirements of industries such as chemical, petrochemical, and oil and gas. This ensures that no step is overlooked and that all relevant parameters are set up, thus preventing incorrect configurations that can at worst lead to accidents or production outages.

Integrated instrument diagnostics support users

A crucial aspect of process optimisation is not only reliable measurement of the process values, but also coupling the information together and forwarding it to higher levels of the system. As soon as the opportunity for diagnostics arises, plant operators want the ideal instrument condition, which means the device completely monitors itself without the operator having to give it any thought.

Endress+Hauser’s Heartbeat technology integrated into the new pressure transmitters ensures that this ideal is realised. Permanent diagnostics, including clear text notifications in line with NE 107, are only the first step. A revised display, which changes colour from green to red in case of a malfunction, provides a clear and visible indication of a fault directly in the system.

The app-based Heartbeat verification operations sequence leads the user step by step through the instrument verification, which is available around the clock. The verification results can be viewed in a corresponding protocol log and then documented. Instrument removal is not required, and the process does not have to be interrupted.

Summary

A wide range of measurement instruments from Endress+Hauser already satisfy the sensor 4.0 criteria. The examples of the new generation of the Cerabar and Deltabar pressure transmitter lines clearly illustrate how the instruments create significant added value for users through enhanced connectivity, internal diagnostics, verification and monitoring functions, and direct communication with the cloud.

The standard models come integrated with the diagnostics notifications and a direct link to the documentation. The optional Bluetooth and Heartbeat technology functions cover the connectivity criteria and generation of warning notifications. And to implement the big data concept for data mining, Endress+Hauser is utilising the cloud-based Netilion IIoT platform. The result is that the smart sensor 4.0 allows plant operators to leverage the security and productivity potential of their systems.


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