Operator Interfaces, Switches & Relays


Temp-Tek expands HMI and I/O devices

October 2012 Operator Interfaces, Switches & Relays

Following on the success of its process controllers, transmitter modules and paperless process recorders, Temp-Tek has turned its attention to HMIs, specifically the Brainchild range. Using its experience in many different fields of process control gained from hundreds of process lines all over the world, Brainchild began development of its HMIs with integration and ease of use in mind. The ethos of user friendliness at the core of the development process necessitated that the hardware development team worked closely with the panel studio development team to ensure the most accessible, unencumbered and powerful user experience possible. With this development studio users of any level of experience can unlock the full potential of these HMIs and their many advanced features. This new range easily integrates with existing PLC systems, I/O modules and process controllers of all kinds and brands. The OPC tag database combined with the powerful features of the HMI communications system allow the HMI to act as a data exchange gateway between two PLCs, facilitating easy integration in both new and existing systems.

Brainchild’s range of distributed I/O modules has been designed to work and integrate with the new HMIs, as well as provide real-time data acquisition and monitoring. These modules are available in many varieties such as thermocouple, RTD and 4-20 mA input as well as digital input and outputs and combinations of the two. Using the Modbus RTU protocol on an RS-485 connection, these units can be integrated into existing PLC setups. They can also be connected directly to a PC using Brainchild’s DAQ (data acquisition studio) or a proprietary suite such as 'MoniLab'. Using this direct connection method even the most basic of microcomputers can become an extremely powerful data-logging system. Connection of up to 254 distributed 8 inputs allows up to 2032 inputs to be monitored.

Standalone data acquisition supported by wireless transmission modules

While low cost PLCs are becoming more prevalent in processing today, more complex processes require more complex PLCs which not only carry with them multifarious programming techniques but a substantial increase in cost as well. Using Brainchild’s new HMI smart panel platform in conjunction with the distributed I/O modules can help circumvent the need for a PLC altogether. Using the powerful toolset available in the Panel Studio, engineers can create an all in one data acquisition station, operator panel and control system in a relatively short space of time.

Another challenge faced by engineers when designing new, or integrating existing, systems, are environmental factors such as temperature, dust, EMI, distance and chemical atmospheres. Brainchild’s new range of wireless transmission systems can be a great help in dealing with these issues. The new PC-W module can take two serial inputs (RS-232, 422 and 485) and an Ethernet connection and convert them into a Wi-Fi Ethernet signal to be broadcast over an existing Wi-Fi infrastructure or an ad hoc configuration between two of these units. This allows engineers to escape the short falls of conventional cable methods for transmission of various reference signals, such as thermocouple signals and 4-20 mA loops. These powerful and user friendly modules employ a browser based GUI for the quickest and simplest of setup procedures and have support for even the most complex network configurations.

The new system in action

An example of this could be found in a processing plant where the chemical nature of the atmosphere would severely damage and corrode a set of cables. Long distances and high network traffic were other obstacles that Temp-Tek had to overcome recently when it aided a plant in resolving just such a situation. Using the Brainchild PC-W module in conjunction with distributed I/O modules not only made it possible, but the solution came in at about one fifth of the cost of the alternative using special corrosion resistant cables. This solution also allowed multiple user access to the acquired data in real-time over a large scale network throughout the plant. Brainchild’s DAQ studio provided an easy to use interface to facilitate this, as well as data archiving for later review.

Brainchild’s new range of HMIs, I/O modules and networking devices has created a low cost, high quality and easy to use platform for the complex and environmentally challenging process conditions that engineers face today.



Credit(s)



Share this article:
Share via emailShare via LinkedInPrint this page

Further reading:

RS introduces flush-mount devices for smart manufacturing
November 2019, RS Components SA , Operator Interfaces, Switches & Relays
RS Components has added the Schneider Electric Harmony XB4F series of flush mounting pushbuttons, selector switches and pilot lights to its product portfolio. Designed for use in industrial automation ...

Read more...
Mimic’s SH300 text display for PLCs
June 2019, Mimic Components , Operator Interfaces, Switches & Relays
Mimic Components’ SH-300 with text display is a long standing and reliable electronic device for programmable PLCs and other intelligent controllers equipped with a communication interface. It also functions ...

Read more...
A switch for the next ­generation network
Africa Automation Fair 2019 Preview, Industrial Automation & Control (IAC) , Operator Interfaces, Switches & Relays
The Hirschmann BOBCAT Switch is a compact managed switch. It is the first appliance to provide advanced security and real-time communication through time sensitive networking (TSN) technology on all of ...

Read more...
Industrial signal conditioner
Africa Automation Fair 2019 Preview, TANDM Technologies , Operator Interfaces, Switches & Relays
Setting new standards in industrial process control, ESTEQ’s ClipX signal conditioner adapts to each measurement task, whether it is used with single- or multiple-channel applications, in manufacturing ...

Read more...
Specialised control components
May 2019, Mimic Components , Operator Interfaces, Switches & Relays
Mimic Components supplies specialised control components. As a leader in LED pilot lights and filament lamp replacements, the company is now able to accommodate clients with specific requirements in the ...

Read more...
Specialised control components
Africa Automation Fair 2019 Preview, Mimic Components , Operator Interfaces, Switches & Relays
Mimic Components supplies specialised control components. As a leader in LED pilot lights and filament lamp replacements, the company is now able to accommodate clients with specific requirements in the ...

Read more...
Alarm visualisation by Omniflex
April 2019, Omniflex Remote Monitoring Specialists , Operator Interfaces, Switches & Relays
Plant diagnostics is a key element to ongoing plant reliability and productivity. Identifying some plant abnormalities is akin to spotting an individual animal in a herd of moving animals. It is dynamic ...

Read more...
Advanced programmable time switch technology
April 2019, Legrand , Operator Interfaces, Switches & Relays
Legrand’s AlphaRex3 and MicroRex time switches are designed for easy programming and ensure high clock precision in industrial, commercial and domestic environments. Based on advanced time switch technology, ...

Read more...
Graphic terminals provide enhanced software integration
February 2019, Rockwell Automation , Operator Interfaces, Switches & Relays
End users and OEMs are seeking HMI solutions that simplify and streamline visualisation, especially in larger applications. With the new Allen-Bradley PanelView 5510 family of graphic terminals, companies ...

Read more...
Omniflex’s voice alarms
January 2019, Omniflex Remote Monitoring Specialists , Operator Interfaces, Switches & Relays
Alarm overload is an issue most control rooms must deal with on an ongoing basis and relieving the situation is a priority for most process engineering professionals. Much of the burden has been caused ...

Read more...