Data Acquisition & Telemetry


Paperless recorders provide the best of both worlds

April 2003 Data Acquisition & Telemetry

The Honeywell line of TrendView paperless recorder products serves industrial market requirements for high quality data acquisition and monitoring products and systems.

Incorporating the latest in colour LCD technology and data storage media, Honeywell's data acquisition products are supported by the powerful TrendManager Pro, a suite of Windows-based PC software packages which provide extensive data analysis, graphing, and archiving facilities.

Advantages of paperless recorders

With the paperless chart recorder now established as the preferred option in the majority of new build and retrofit recording applications, users now benefit from an instrument that combines the best of chart recorders and data loggers.

Emulating the local display of the traditional paper chart recorder, the paperless recorder provides simple to understand local trend indication. At the same time the electronic storage methods of the data logger, with all its inherent advantages, give previously unheard of flexibility to the user.

No pens, no paper, no mess

Rather than costly rolls of paper that can tear, smudge and jam, a paperless chart recorder uses a high quality colour LCD display, and electronic recording media. The display not only emulates the 'charts' of a traditional paper recorder, but the flexibility of the LCD also provides any number of trend display variations, on line reports, alarm annunciation, and intuitive menu driven configuration.

Due to the inherent flexibility and increased performance of the paperless chart recorder, new applications are continually being discovered. The same instrument can now happily serve applications traditionally catered for by chart recorders as well as those more associated with test and measurement equipment, by offering up to 32 inputs and continuous logging rates of up to 20 mS/sample. An upward trend has been witnessed in the number of paperless chart recorders being used in laboratory applications, where the instrument takes on the role of a recording digital voltmeter with a colour trending screen.

Mass storage techniques have followed the trend too, with new developments driven by the PC revolution, giving rise to paperless recorders that offer a choice of storage technologies. These include standard 1,44 MB floppy drive, or the new high capacity Super Floppy. PC card interfaces are also available to allow the use of solid-state 'flash' storage, for up to 64 MB or type III hard drives to give up to 1 GB of removable media. This choice of high capacity storage has enabled the recorders to effortlessly cope with the vast amount of information generated.

For example in a typical process application, a paper recorder will trend at 20 mm/hour, leading to a 32M chart lasting about two months. An equivalent 16 input paperless chart recorder with a super floppy disk drive, recording at the same rate will last about 10 years recording to one disk!

Fuzzy logging - new intelligent logging methodology

'Fuzzy logging' is a new secure data storage technique. Driven by the ever-increasing volume of logged data, a requirement for new 'intelligent' logging methods has emerged which is met by realtime compression. With this method the recorder simply adapts the logging rate in realtime to store only the information required. If inputs remain stable logged points are far apart, but if a fast change occurs, the logging rate will adapt to capture it in detail - fully automatically.

For the process engineer who is trying to 'capture' a fast intermittent 'glitch' in a long-term process, this method of recording proves invaluable.

For more information contact Mike Littlejohn, Honeywell Southern Africa, 011 695 8008, mike.littlejohn@honeywell.com





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