Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Fieldbus protocols expanded

The VPG Process Weighing division of the Vishay Precision Group has expanded the fieldbus protocols of its BLH-Nobel Weighing Systems G4 family of multichannel weight/force indicators to include the EtherNet/IP open communications protocol. This new capability allows the instruments to communicate with other industrial control systems and their components, such as a programmable automation and logic controllers or I/O systems.

VPG's G4 instruments offer high speed and performance for industrial applications, such as process weighing and control, force measurement, Web tension measurement and control, automation, force vector calculations, high dynamic force measurement, and high-speed batching/blending systems. The units are certified to link to a wide variety of communication interfaces, including Profibus, DeviceNet, Modbus/RTU, USB, RS485, RS232, Modbus/TCP, and now EtherNet/IP.

This family is offered with four base mounting options: DIN rail (RM), panel (PM), desktop (DT), and harsh environment (HE). The IP65-rated G4-PM, DT, and HE are equipped with a 5.7-inch color touch screen and graphic display for quick, easy operation and simple parameter changes. The screen displays up to four weight/force channels simultaneously, allowing the user full control of multiple process vessels. The IP20-rated G4-RM is intended for blind applications and requires a PLC/DCS interface.

The G4-PM, DT, and HE accommodate up to six different, easily installed modules for advanced performance, more functional channels, custom applications, or repair, while the G4-RM can be equipped with up to three modules. The modular nature of the units provides customers with a highly flexible, upgradeable, single instrument system capable of weighing up to eight independent vessels or scales. For Web tension applications, up to six zones can be monitored simultaneously with the G4-RM. By providing the largest scale capability available, the G4 units offer very economical solutions, as each can replace multiple instruments from other manufacturers.

The G4 units can be configured for either 24VDC or 115/230VAC operation. Software upgrades can be downloaded from VPG's website and transferred to the instruments via a standard USB port connection. Custom software designed to customer requirements for special applications is available upon request, and is easily accommodated by the units' Microsoft® Windows CE® software platform. Remote access via a standard Web browser allows for simple set-up, monitoring, and diagnostic tests.

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