ISA 2002: Process, protocols, and products

This year's ISA 2002 exhibition and conference, Oct. 21-24 at McCormick Place, featured numerous useful innovations, solutions, and input from hundreds of companies and technical presenters: •ISA, The Instrumentation, Systems, and Automation Society, announced on Oct.23 that a digital Coriolis flowmeter from Invensys/Foxboro (Foxboro, MA) won the "Best of Show" title...



Chicago, IL -This year's ISA 2002 exhibition and conference, Oct. 21-24 at McCormick Place, featured numerous useful innovations, solutions, and input from hundreds of companies and technical presenters:


Invensys/Foxboro (Foxboro, MA) won the 'Best of Show' title in ISA 2002's New Products Showcase. The Coriolis flowmeter, Foxboro CFT50, competed with 15 other products displayed by ISA 2002 exhibitors. It is reported to be unique because it continues to operate during two-phase flow.

Foxboro CFT50 mass flow transmitter features a patented technology to enable uninterrupted operation in batch applications starting with empty flow-tube conditions. CFT50 is designed to control all aspects of the Coriolis meter for precise measurement in traditionally difficult-to-measure applications. Traditionally, Coriolis meters could not handle two-phase flows like liquids with entrained gases. Such conditions adversely affect sensor performance in ordinary Coriolis meters by creating erratic vibration of the flow tubes. CFT50 meter minimizes the impact of entrained air by using a dual digital processing system that improves meter control throughout all stages of void fraction operation.


(Scottsdale, AZ) exhibited the first OPC Data eXchange (DX) interoperability demonstration of a working, multivendor system using products from 10 of its member companies, including Emerson Process Management, Hertzler Systems Inc., Indusoft, Intellution, Invensys, Kepware Technologies, Progea SRL, Rockwell Software, Siemens Energy & Automation, and Wonderware. Controllers used in the OPC DX demonstration were provided by Rockwell Automation, Emerson Process Management, and Siemens. The OPC DX demonstration shows horizontal and vertical interoperability among programmable logic controllers, distributed control systems, and HMI/SCADA systems across an Ethernet network coexisting with Ethernet/IP, ProfiNet and High-Speed Ethernet (HSE) protocols from three fieldbus organizations.


Automation Alliance Group (AAG, West Chester, PA), which they say, 'Puts the power of peer-based knowledge to work in a multi-skilled, geographically distributed solutions provider.'' AAG's 10 initial members are Applied Control Technology; Bay-Tec Engineering; Frakes Engineering; Frank Electric Corp.; Kim Controls Systems Group Inc.; RBB Systems; Revere Control Systems; Stone Technologies; Total Systems Design Inc.; and TVC Inc. These 10 integrators, with close to 600 automation and system professionals, will remain independent, but they will also coordinate their capabilities to serve customers with far-flung facilities and needs they couldn't have served working separately. Each member company is either a Registered Member of the Control and Information System Integrators Association (CSIA, Exton, PA) or is on track for registration.

Automation Alliance Group is a CSIA member as of 2/26/2015


Fieldbus Foundation (FF, Austin, TX) found there were 205,000 fieldbus devices and more than 4,000 fieldbus systems installed worldwide as of June 20, 2002. Richard Timoney, FF's president and ceo, added at an Oct. 21 press conference that the foundation's current registered devices have reached 135 unique devices and 183 total devices. These include controllers, transmitters, mag meters, vortex meters, analyzers, valve positioners, data acquisition devices, barriers, terminators, and power supplies. 'This represents a 31% increase since January 2002 for a total increase of 52% during the past 12 months,'' says Mr. Timoney.


GE Fanuc Automation (Charlottesville, VA) released Cimplicity HMI Plant Edition Version 6.0. This version features Cimplicity SQL 2000 and VCR-like screen playback capabilities as well as view, alarm, and paging enhancements to help improve database archiving and reporting, speed process analysis, and decrease plant response time to manufacturing crises. Visual Cimplicity Replay (VCR) allows users to play back historical logged data through graphic screens via a virtual remote. The company also announced Computer Dynamics Survivor-WildCat, a 15-in., sunlight-readable, corrosion-resistant computer designed for use in harsh industrial environments.


Dolch (Fremont, CA) exhibited a wireless display interface for its rugged, industrial computers and its latest fully sealed, metal, portable computer, MilPAC, which has an aluminum frame that shields its internal parts from shocks up to 40 G in non-operating mode, while its dust-proof door shields are rated at up to IP65 protection from dust, wind and moisture. Also, the company's wireless display interface eases network monitoring and data acquisition by communicating through a peer-to-peer wireless LAN and 802.11b protocol. Dolch says its new display fits in a person's hand, and eliminates the need for heavy, tablet-sized PCs with limited computing power. The display also includes an 8.4-in, transflective, daylight-readable touchscreen.

Meanwhile, during an Oct. 22 press conference, Tom Brassil, Dolch's sales and marketing vp, previewed the firm's upcoming Touch Thru Metal technology. 'Touch Thru Metal will allow us in 1Q03 to offer a zero-travel, stainless steel industrial keyboard,' says Mr. Brassil. 'This technology is presently available in our custom products, such as 10-key keypads. Touch Thru Metal will be especially useful in a variety of pharmaceutical, oil and gas, and food processing applications.'


FDT Group demonstrated its Field Device Tool (FDT) specification on Oct. 21. FDT Group reports that its FDT specification consists of the world's first universal field device interface solutions. FDT Group is a collaboration of international automation vendors. Regardless of device vendor or fieldbus protocol, the open FDT specification reportedly builds on and enhances existing fieldbus technology by standardizing the interface between intelligent field devices and host systems. Using this standard, FDT-compliant interface, automation vendors can now provide users with a common environment, including graphical elements, for intelligent field devices.

The device supplier develops an FDT-compliant device description, called a Device Type Manager (DTM), for each of its field devices or group of devices. Existing device descriptions, such as those used for HART, FOUNDATION fieldbus or Profibus can be used to build DTMs. ABB, Endress+Hauser, Invensys Foxboro, 'ifak system', M&M, Metso, Smar, Softing, and Vega have already developed DTMs for their intelligent field devices. Other organizations currently supporting FDT technology include Burkert, CEAG, Danfoss, ICS, Krohne, Pepperl+Fuchs, Samson, Wika and ZVEI.

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