Friday 16 April 2010

Cost-effective wireless solution lowers the cost of adding additional measurements

We reported on Emerson's THUM last November and now we are reporting on MACTek's Bullet. We wait with baited breath for the next wireless device acronym or title!

Key Features;
  • Cost saving Multidrop support for up to 8 devices
  • Patented loop powered option – no battery or other power source required
  • Connects directly to HART® field device or anywhere on the 4-20 mA loop
  • Patent pending StepVolt™ technology sets insertion voltage in steps from 1 to 2.5 volts to optimize trade off between available loop power and wireless communication bandwidth
  • Patent pending Direct Power option when local DC power or battery/solar system is available:
    - Internal 250 ohm loop current sense resistor provided, configurable by WirelessHART® command
    - In Direct Power mode, Bullet™ can switch field device on/off to take periodic readings to save power
  • 300+ meters open air range
  • Certifications for GP model:
    - HART® 7.1 Registered with the HART® Communication Foundation - fully compliant for communication reliability when the WirelessHART® test suite is available
    - FCC Part 15, IC, CE
  • IS and XP models available in early Q3 2010 with Intrinsically Safe, Explosion - Flame Proof approvals suitable for use in hazardous areas
  • MACTek® Corporation has released its WirelessHART® adapter, a universal communication device for use with both analog and HART-enabled devices. As the newest member to the family of MACTek® HART®-enabled products, the Bullet™ provides a cost-effective means to access process measurements and communicate process variables and other valuable information to the control room without wires. The Bullet™ WirelessHART® Adapter is now available for sale in a general purpose model for use in non-hazardous areas with deliveries starting in May. The IS and Ex-proof models will be available early in the 3rd quarter of 2010.

    The Bullet™ enables existing wired HART® field devices from any supplier to communicate with host applications by means of WirelessHART® technology. It is installed permanently by wiring it directly to a standard HART® field device, or connecting it anywhere on the 4-20mA current loop with a junction box. A wired HART® field device retrofitted with the device communicates its analog process variable over the existing wiring to the existing DCS with no wiring changes. The Bullet™ simultaneously communicates the digital PV and device diagnostic information over the WirelessHART® network.

    The Bullet™ can also be installed on a non-smart (analog only) device and will transmit a digital representation of the analog 4-20mA PV to the control room over the WirelessHART® network which can save labor cost by eliminating manual recording of data.
    “I am pleased to announce the release of this exciting and innovative product.” said Thomas Holmes, President of MACTek. “The fact that this device connects to existing installed HART-enabled and analog devices provides a huge benefit to users in plants as they continue to lower their operating cost by providing access to valuable information stranded in their measurement and control assets, and by making new measurements cost effective. MACTek’s demonstrated high quality and reliability is built into the Bullet™ so that users can have confidence when installing and using this exciting product. We are currently submitting the Bullet™ to all required agencies and the HART Communication Foundation for testing, certification and registration.”

    One of the many unique features of the Bullet™ is its ability to multi-drop up to 8 measurement devices using a single Bullet™. The digital multi-drop feature drives the cost of adding devices to an existing WirelessHART® network down to well below that of other digital busses that require a linking device, special wire, power conditioners and segment terminators, as well as training for personnel. This cost-effective feature is useful for many SCADA applications including the monitoring of tank farms and pipelines.

    The Bullet™ is typically loop-powered, requiring no batteries or other power sources. Featuring MACTek’s patent-pending StepVolt technology that sets insertion voltage in steps from 1 volt to 2.5 volts the Bullet™ will optimize the trade-off between available loop power and wireless communication bandwidth.

    Optionally the Bullet™ may be connected to external power such as line power, battery or solar to add new measurement points in locations where powering new loops from the DCS would be too costly or difficult. For example, installing measurement points on rotating and mobile machinery is a particular challenge for which the Bullet™ can be an easy and cost effective solution.

    It offers a unique power cycling feature that cycles power to attached devices reducing power consumption, an advantageous feature for battery or solar powered applications. When powered externally the Bullet™ provides the load resistor required by the HART® protocol, saving users the time and cost of installing and wiring an external resistor in the field wiring.

    The Bullet™ maintains the high standards of reliability, quality, and ease of use demonstrated by our VIATOR® Bluetooth, USB and RS232 HART PC modems. Their entire product family is fully compliant with the HART® communication specifications and both our wireless and wired solutions have proven to be easy to use and compatible with HART-enabled devices from any vendor.

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