classic | mobile


SA Instrumentation & Control Buyers' Guide

Technews Industry Guide - IIoT 2018

Technews Industry Guide - Maintenance, Reliability & Asset Optimisation


New concepts for operator workstations in hazardous areas
July 2018, IS & Ex

For production control and process control systems, visualisation software is an integral component of the system control, which is typically located outside of the production area. In these situations, there is a need for operator workstations where the production steps and plant images can be displayed and operated remotely.

Introduced by Pepperl+Fuchs 10 years ago, network-based VisuNet Remote Monitors are state-of-the-art today. The latest generation of VisuNet operator workstations is the GXP series for ATEX and IECEx Zone 1/21, Zone 2/22 as well as for NEC Class I/II Div2 and Class I/II Zone 2. One of the many innovations and new features is the option to set up a standard fibre optic network connection, even in Zone 1/21, without the need for an Ex-approved counterpart station on the controller side. Thus the network infrastructure is simplified and costs are reduced.

The VisuNet GXP systems are available with a 49 cm display or 56 cm 16:9 Full HD display, meeting most of the requirements of today’s demanding process industry visualisation. The VisuNet GXP is available as a remote monitor and as a PC monitor.

A further innovation of the VisuNet GXP series is its modular design. The display module, processing unit (PC module or thin-client module) and the power supply (AC or DC power module) are individually Ex-approved and connected to each other via plugs and cables. As a result, in the rare event of a defect, the defective module can be identified and easily replaced. The Ex-approved devices can be repaired at the customer location by trained personnel simply swapping a module outside the hazardous area. This significantly reduces the repair time and therefore the downtime of the VisuNet GXP monitors on the production plant.

The mouse pointer can be moved with an optional PCAP technology touchscreen, which has significant advantages over the previous resistive touchscreen films made of plastic. The sensors behind the glass allow a display surface made of durable, chemically resistant glass. The latest generation of these PCAP touchscreens also allows the use of many glove types common in the process industry.

The touchscreen interface is resistant to interference from objects or dripping liquids. Multi-finger operation is supported by the existing version of the visualisation software.

As with the other VisuNet monitor series IND, GMP and XTA, a variety of housing and mounting components are available for the VisuNet GXP, and even customer-specific solutions via one of the Pepperl+Fuchs Solution Engineering Centers. This enables them to meet the wide variety of demands from an on-site location. The robust keyboard can be configured with three integrated variants for cursor control: with an easy to clean touchpad mouse, a simple, intuitive trackball mouse or a robust joystick, depending on the operational conditions.

Zone 1/21-approved PScan barcode readers can be connected as peripherals via a cable or wirelessly. These are functionally integrated into the monitor, so that the barcode data can be read and transferred directly to the controller application, using the network protocol.

Since the number of ground stations in the process industry is constantly increasing, it has become necessary to manage these remote monitors and PC monitors centrally from a standard PC. The requirements are configuring and managing the monitors, as well as offering the operator in the plant support without needing to go into the plant in person.

For this purpose, Pepperl+Fuchs has developed the VisuNetCC Control Center management software. VisuNetCC simplifies the commissioning of all monitors. Once a configuration has taken place locally on the service PC using VisuNetCC and its comprehensive additional functions, this can be saved and transferred to other monitors. During operation, the status of all VisuNet monitors on the network can be seen and clearly represented. If necessary, updates can be installed centrally. Through a screen-mirroring function for monitors at the plant, help can be provided to the site from afar, should the operator have any questions regarding the on-screen process image. This is conducted using a service PC with the VisuNetCC software. The operator is also able to take control of the on-site remote monitor if required. User administration allows such functions to be enabled or disabled.

The new GXP series monitors, together with the VisuNetCC management software, open a new chapter for operator workstations in international explosion-hazardous zones: easy installation and commissioning, comprehensive functionality of the parameterisable firmware (RM shell 5), new connection and operating concepts, as well as simple service, support and repair. Together with the modular system of mounting and accessory components, suitable operator workstations can be configured for various applications in the process industry.

Supplied By: Pepperl+Fuchs
Tel: +27 87 985 0797
Fax: 086 756 8741
Share via email     Share via LinkedIn   Print this page

Further reading:

  • PyroStorm provides cost-effective fire protection for control equipment
    December 2018, Alien Systems & Technologies, IS & Ex
    If you work at a large industrial plant or mine, you may have noticed those hydraulic lubricating oil packs, or perhaps the diesel generator sets, oil store rooms, pump rooms or flammable liquids stores, ...
  • Is HART technology still useful as manufacturing moves to Industry 4.0?
    December 2018, Pepperl+Fuchs, Fieldbus & Industrial Networking
    With its bidirectional communication between intelligent field devices and host systems, HART has become a global standard. The example of valves shows how important the data provided by field devices ...
  • Compact safety light curtains for tight spaces
    December 2018, Turck Banner, IS & Ex
    The new SLC4 is Banner’s most compact safety light curtain to date. It has a low-profile design and a sensing area that extends the entire length of its 160 mm housing. This Type 4 safety light curtain ...
  • Wise choices to decrease fire risk and improve safety
    November 2018, Spero Sensors & Instrumentation, IS & Ex
    Fire safety at the workplace is a topic that is easily neglected and many businesses do not devote enough attention to it. The topic quickly becomes top of mind when people lose their lives, or when a building or substantial part of an industrial plant is destroyed by fire.
  • Network-based process visualisation
    November 2018, Pepperl+Fuchs, IS & Ex
    IT technologies such as PC and server virtualisation are establishing themselves in larger plants in the process industry to reduce the growing number of PC hardware components, while at the same time increasing flexibility and availability.
  • PC-based control for the process industry
    November 2018, Beckhoff Automation, IS & Ex
    Beckhoff Automation adds Ex protection to extend its reach in hazardous areas.
  • Don’t forget to test your fire protection systems before the holiday shutdown
    November 2018, Alien Systems & Technologies, IS & Ex
    As the year draws to a close, it is natural that people start looking forward to the holidays. It is therefore quite easy to neglect to consider the damaging effect a fire could have on businesses during ...
  • Advanced light curtain improves safety
    November 2018, Rockwell Automation, IS & Ex
    The rise of robots has ushered in an increased demand for light curtains that provide a safe environment between the robotic work cells and the rest of the plant. The Allen-Bradley GuardShield 450L safety ...
  • Optical positioning system knows the way
    October 2018, Pepperl+Fuchs, Sensors & Transducers
    The PGV (position guided view) positioning system from Pepperl+Fuchs consists of a 2D vision sensor with integrated LED lighting, a coloured tape as an optical route indicator, data matrix codes as a ...
  • How to choose an industrial safety controller
    September 2018, Turck Banner, IS & Ex
    The following are five key features to look for in a safety controller that will save time and money, as well as help ensure that operators are using the safety system correctly. As with any safety application, ...
  • WirelessHART in process ­automation
    September 2018, Pepperl+Fuchs, Industrial Wireless
    The open standard, based on the HART 7 protocol, ensures that sensors from different manufacturers can be integrated into the wireless communication platform without restriction via WirelessHART adaptors ...
  • How mobile digital solutions benefit industry
    September 2018, Pepperl+Fuchs, IT in Manufacturing
    The networking of people, processes, machines, and systems will not just shape the markets of the future, it is the biggest challenge and opportunity of today’s world. Companies that make use of the possibilities ...

Technews Publishing (Pty) Ltd
1st Floor, Stabilitas House
265 Kent Ave, Randburg, 2194
South Africa
Publications by Technews
Dataweek Electronics & Communications Technology
Electronic Buyers Guide (EBG)

Hi-Tech Security Solutions
Hi-Tech Security Business Directory

Motion Control in Southern Africa
Motion Control Buyers’ Guide (MCBG)

South African Instrumentation & Control
South African Instrumentation & Control Buyers’ Guide (IBG)
Terms & conditions of use, including privacy policy
PAIA Manual


    classic | mobile

Copyright © Technews Publishing (Pty) Ltd. All rights reserved.