Reviewed resource: Field instruments under a microscope


Occasionally whitepapers and articles cross our desks that might be a little too proprietary for regular editorial use, but they still have some particular interest beyond a specific product or manufacturer. A recent paper written for the Profibus International User Conference by James Powell, an engineer for Siemens Milltronics division, brings up some interesting points about one of the lesser known capabilities of a process fieldbus.

Powell has found that acyclic data capabilities of Profibus (and potentially other similar architectures) when combined with the right type of control equipment, can look deep into a piece of process instrumentation and find what is going on in the most detailed levels. This method avoids all tendencies for the network and controller to smooth over microscopic but violent changes in the data that go on between checkpoints.

As Powell puts it, “Being able to look at your instruments through this 'microscope' has its advantages and its challenges. The main advantage is you now can know the instant your instrument is having a problem. You have a far more accurate picture of the accuracy of your data. You also now have to manage this information. That is the challenge!”

This detailed paper is available from the Control Engineering Resource Center .

—Peter Welander, process industries editor, ,
Control Engineering Weekly News

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