Engineers’ Choice 2006 – Instrumentation

By Control Engineering Staff February 27, 2007

Engineers Choice Competition
New Products for 2006: Instrumentation, Process Sensors, Control Component

Control Engineering — February 15, 2007
The annual Control Engineering Engineers Choice Awards highlight significant new products from the previous year as selected by readers of Control Engineering print publications and electronic newsletters. The following new products are nominees for that competition. To be eligible, a new product must have been introduced to the U.S. marketplace and available for purchase between December 1, 2005 and December 31, 2006. All descriptions have been provided by product vendors, and Control Engineering makes no warranties as to the accuracy of the claims.

The Control Engineering Engineers Choice Awards honor the products from this list that survey respondents chose as the most exceptional or noteworthy based on technological advancement (innovation), service to the industry (usefulness) and/or market impact (would buy it tomorrow if I could). Results are announced in the April 2006 issue of Control Engineering .


SEQUESTR™ is an innovative, safer and more effective solution than traditional disconnect enclosures that require electricians to turn off the power source to the enclosure and suit up in bulky personal protective equipment (PPE). And even when the power is turned off, live power is still present on the line side of the disconnect switch allowing the threat of an arc flash incident to remain. This method is not only potentially hazardous, but entails considerable compliance costs, since it may require a production shutdown for monitoring controls or initiating a simple programming change.
SEQUESTR affords the highest level of safety, because it isolates the switch in a small, interlocked enclosure, completely shutting down the power in the main cabinet with no hazard of power coming into the box. This allows users to comply with the disconnect door interlocking requirements of NFPA79, IEC 60204, and SAE HS 1738. Because the disconnect switch is now isolated, SEQUESTR enables technicians to work inside the main enclosure without the need for PPE (after verifying that power on the load side of the switch is not present). This offers manufacturers a solution that supports both workplace safety and increased efficiency and productivity.

PanelMax Corner Wiring Duct
Panduct PanelMax Corner Wiring Duct is an innovative wire management product that makes more efficient use of space inside enclosures, speeds installation and reduces control panel assembly costs.
Corner Wiring Duct fits in the unused space in vertical corners of medium to large electrical control panels to route, conceal, and protect electrical wiring. The unique one-piece base design requires no assembly and provides up to 20% savings in the enclosure footprint area or up to 5ft2 additional sub-panel space. Other design features that ease wiring and installation include co-extruded flexible hinges, quick mount clips, integrated mounting feature for divider wall, upper and lower score lines and narrow slot design. PanelMax Corner Wiring Duct is compatible with standard wiring duct and covers.

Swagelok Stream Selector System (SSV Series)
The SSV solves a number of problems for process analyzer system designers. Its compact, modular design saves cabinet space and offers ease of installation and maintenance. Its double-block and bleed module eliminates cross contamination. Its distinctive vented air gap prevents mixing of pneumatic actuator supply and system fluid under pressure. It has improved visual indication with a colored ring around the exposed piston and interchangeable colored caps for stream identification. Finally, the SSV has an innovative base block design that provides consistent outlet flow regardless of the stream that is selected and allows for the trouble-free connection of additional streams.

DUPLICON is the first product of its kind to offer uninterrupted communication from the mounting in the control cabinet across the decentralized power distributor to the device connections in the field. It offers unique modularity to expand connections as needed and is the only product of its kind that allows quick termination. The award-winning square design offers flexibility with stackable housings that are available with one or two cable connection openings and also allows for cable connections in 90-degree increments. The DUPLICON connector has six positions plus ground for 24 to 12AWG for 600V/25A for power, 24V and ASi bus. DUPLICON inserts use universal screw connection technology and are compatible with Phoenix Contact’s ST-COMBI plug connectors. Direct PCB connection on the device is available in 90 and 180 degree models, which eliminates the need for one switching level. DUPLICON’s easy installation and testing save time. The installer can pre-wire the module, and it can be added to base connector with minimal downtime. The removable cover makes it easy to conduct an inspection during operation and test for any issues. DUPLICON’s sturdy die-cast aluminum housing is resistant to saltwater, vibration, UV exposure and extreme industrial conditions.

JACKPAC IP67 Rated Interface Devices
The JACKPAC line of interface devices provides a revolutionary solution to address signal conditioning in industrial environments. Requiring no additional enclosure, these modules can be installed directly on the machine, in the production plant, conveyor system, or within a process almost instantly. The JACKPAC uses standard M12 connectors which allow for easy integration into Sensor Actuator cabling. These new JACKPAC devices are available in several innovative and useful configurations. These configurations include; Form “C” Relay Output Modules, Pulse Stretching Modules, Over-Voltage Protection Modules, and Signal Isolators.Now a user has the flexibility and ability to immediately introduce an interface device into a circuit without the need for an enclosure or control panel. The entire device is extremely compact measuring only 83mm x36mm x14.4 mm and made epoxy sealed housing made of PBT (polybutylene terephthalate) with a flammability rating of UL94 VO material for use in hazardous environments.

Push-In Technology – Complete Terminal Series
Reductions in design time, labor and inventory costs are just a few ways companies can reduce overall manufacturing costs. Weidmuller’s new P Series terminal blocks with push-in connection technology are designed to provide manufacturers with secure and reliable terminations, and achieve true savings. Designed to reduce the number of terminal block variations required, three P Series terminal blocks cover a cross section of 2.5mm2 to 16mm2– a function previously requiring five blocks. The P Series push-in terminal blocks are safe and easy to use and can reduce wiring time by as much as 60%. Solid core wires, once stripped of insulation, are inserted into the terminal point until it hits the stop – no tools are required to make the connection. The push-in connection system is suitable for flexible wires with crimped-on ferrules – with or without plastic collars – and ultrasonic bonded wires. The push-in direct connection system uses the pressure spring principle; the spring for the wire connection is in a separate cage,separating the mechanical and electrical functions for greater wire retention. The pressure spring is protected by a stop that restricts spring excursion, while the cable entry design prevents incorrect wire insertion.

HDC RockStar – Rectangular Connector Series
Weidmuller’s RockStarnclude IP65 and the newly rated IP69k protection class ratings. RockStar® housings are the only ones that fulfill the NEMA 250-1991, Type 4X standard. With integrated insulation strips, all housings are designed for high voltage applications. Each RockStar® housing features additional integrated threads, so there are no restrictions on the type of cable gland that can be used. Users choose the preferred gland for their applications. RockStar® rectangular connectors are the only ones on the market today offering push-in direct connection for additional time savings in design and installationlabor. Connector kits are available, allowing users to define the connector components needed for their applications – put together in a single package. Instead of having to manage numerous ordering and inventory part numbers, customers have just one part number and a single storage point. RockStar® rectangular connectors are individually packaged in plastic bags, providing users with considerable savings by eliminating costly partial quantities. In addition, the plastic protects individual connectors from dust and moisture.

Instrumentation, analysis

SM500F Field-Mountable Videographic Recorder
ABB’s SM500F is a four-channel recorder that can be installed in even the most hostile environments, taking recording out of the control room and offering users localized access to operational data. A choice of mounting options means the SM500F can be easily installed onto a panel, wall or pipe without the additional expense associated with the enclosures normally required to field mount a traditional videographic recorder. Its fully sealed IP66 and NEMA 4X enclosure provides full protection against water and dust ingress, making it ideal for hose-down and dirty applications found in many industries. The SM500F is ideal for any installation where local indication and recording of process conditions is needed. Typical applications include cold storage, warehouse monitoring, temperature and humidity monitoring, effluent monitoring, borehole abstraction and swimming pool monitoring. A user-friendly display and interface means that setting up and using the SM500F can quickly be mastered. Front-mounted pushbuttons allow simple selection of data, which is presented in a user-friendly Windows

Rosemount 3051S Advanced Diagnostics for HART Protocol
Now the unique scalable design of the Rosemount 3051S Series of Instrumentation from Emerson provides Abnormal Situation Prevention for a breakthrough in diagnostic capability. The new ASP™ Diagnostics Suite for HART® protocol, embedded in the 3051S Series, provides users with new tools for troubleshooting, detecting, and preventing abnormal situations in pressure, flow, and level applications. Patented Statistical Process Monitoring (SPM) technology provides an early warning of abnormal process or equipment conditions such as plugged impulse lines, changes in fluid composition, or other events signaled by a change in the noise characteristics of the pressure signal. Early notification of these abnormal conditions allows operators to respond immediately, reducing maintenancecosts and increasing plant productivity. The ASP Diagnostics Suite also includes variable logging with time stamp capability and advanced process alerts to provide more information to make better decisions. Extreme process or environmental conditions are logged to help users investigate a troublesome process or installation. Process pressure and sensor temperature values are actively monitored and time stamped against user-configured settings. All these advanced diagnostics come to life on the new EDDL-based graphical interface. This enhanced view of your process is intuitive and easy to navigate, so operators can respond quickly to abnormal situations.

ROC827 Remote Operations ControllerPERpH-X Extreme Service pH Sensors
The ROC827 is an advanced remote measurement and control product that is a cost- effective replacement for a flow computer, RTU, or PLC in a wide range of remote applications. By eliminating the need for separate products, it can reduce spares requirements, operator training, and installation problems.

PERpH-X Extreme Service pH SensorsField Device Manager R301
The Rosemount Analytical PERpH-X high performance pH sensors incorporate several design innovations that prolong the life of the sensor in difficult applications. The 3300/3400 sensors were engineered for high temperature processes which provide the harshest test of pH sensors.

Field Device Manager R301
Field Device Manager R301 is the first system to support both the latest Electronic Device Description Language (EDDL) and Field Device Tool (FDT) with Device Type Manager (DTM) technologies without using conversion tools or add-on devices. This provides customers the broadest choice of instrumentation and valves to integrate with their distributed control systems (DCS) and asset management systems to improve plant uptime and reduce maintenance costs.
It is designed to overcome interoperability issues within open system architectures to enhance maintenance efficiency and reduces unplanned shutdowns. Unlike other offerings, Field Device Manager does not require additional files, programming or integration support to add support for new devices or access device-specific features.

CorrTran MV
Seventy to ninety percent of equipment and pipeline failures are attributed to pitting corrosion and very few of the corrosion monitoring equipment are able to show this effect with the simplicity and reliability of CorrTran™ MV.
CorrTran™ MV uses LPR, HDA, and ECN measurements in its processing algorithms to provide a corrosion rate that is most comparable to the traditional coupon method. It is the first field mounted device to use the strength of each of these corrosion measuring techniques to provide a corrosion rate in a 4 –20 mA process signal that is multivariable. In addition conductivity measurement is available as an additional output. With proper mechanical connections, CorrTran™ MV becomes a standard, loop powered, 2-wire, 4-20 mA output with a multivariable HART signal. The general or localized corrosion canbe set as the primary or secondary HART variable, with the conductivity value set as the third variable.
With this real-time data, process operators have the ability to monitor corrosion rates within their existing software and control system like any other process variable (i.e., pressure, temperature, flow, and pH). If corrosion occurs, process operators can now monitor the effects of additives on the corrosive effect of the pipeline or vessel as the changes are being made, and maintenance personnel can now preplan when lines or equipment needs service based on analysis of the systems corrosive affect.

CR-288 concentration monitor
The Swageloks real-time, highly accurate measurements of the concentration and temperature of process fluids. The monitor can help the industry reduce chemical consumption, improve process control and visibility, detect process problems, reduce wafer scrap, and improve productivity. In addition, it will facilitate point-of-use spiking, blending, and mixing and help ensure chemical and ultrapure water quality. Able to monitor up to four separate fluid streams, the device dramatically reduces lost production time, loss of final product, and loss of raw materials. The CR-288 is physically small, easy to install, and serviceable in the field. Proprietary software enables the technician to calibrate the unit for chemical mixtures used in semiconductor laboratory or manufacturing processes, including etching, wafer cleaning, and copper mechanical planarization (CMP). The software provides a graphical readout that the technician may customize for data logging over time. In terms of accuracy, the CR-288 produces results that are repeatable within .01 percent.

SPECTRACAP Oxygen Transmitter OMT355
The SPECTRACAPoxygen absorption line, comparing light received at the absorption wavelength to that received from a nearby non-absorbing wavelength. The difference in signal strength is proportional to oxygen concentration.Conventional laser based gas analyzers are bulky and large, often requiring complicated installation procedures. They are typically used in special applications where no other method can be used for gas analysis. The SPECTRACAP® sensor is the first to offer TDL (Tunable Diode Laser) technology in a compact probe suitable for field use. The OMT355 can be flange-mounted directly into a process in many applications without sampling or sample conditioning equipment. This provides real time measurement data without sampling or sample switching delays. The stainless steel measurement probe tolerates aggressive chemicals and excessive amounts of moisture.The OMT355 brings the technique of optical absorption spectroscopy to a robust field instrument, giving users an opportunity to reduce the cost and complexity of critical oxygen monitoring systems.

Power Display Meter (PDM)
General Information on Ohio Semitronics, Inc. PDM series instruments: The PDM series is an extremely versatile instrument for metering and controlling power and energy measurements. The PDM can be supplied as a 1, 2, or 3 element models with up to 8 analog inputs, where 3 inputs are typically used for voltage or current representing amps, 3 inputs are for voltage representing volts, Two additional inputs may be used for a voltage representing temperature or other measurement parameter, which can be represented by an analog voltage or pulse. The PDM features 0.25% or better accuracy of readings.

Sensors, process

AWI-P Wireless Pressure Transmitter
The Adalet Wireless AWI-P wireless pressure transmitter is a fully integrated, self-contained wireless pressure transmitter designed specifically for measuring and monitoring pressure in industrial applications. The AWI-P wireless pressure transmitter is for use in rugged, industrial areas where accurate pressure measurements are needed. Available in battery powered and AC powered versions, the AWI-P wireless pressure transmitter includes the wireless transmitter, pressure sensor, and self-contained power source all in one lightweight, rugged, case aluminum enclosure for use in industrial environments. The AWI-P wireless pressure transmitter provides tank farms, pipelines, in-plant and other industrial applications pressure monitoring & measurement without the constraints of hard wiring.Adalet Wireless systems are an innovative, cost cutting solution for transmitting data signals in industrial areas. This unique solution by Adalet makes it possible to collect real time data and realize measurable cost savings. With this system it is now possible to avoid costly cable and conduit runs, lower labor and material installation costs, and monitor devices where cabling isn’t an option.

The Ashcroft Xmitr
The Ashcroftbrating multiple instruments. By creating a low cost hybrid mechanical/electronic instrument, remote monitoring will become a newly affordable, cost effective component used to increase system efficiencies, saving energy and reducing operating costs.

Micro Motion Safety-Certified Coriolis Meters
TÜV certification can boost plant availability by using Emerson’s technology-leading Micro Motion Coriolis flow and density measurement technology in Safety Instrumented Systems in up to SIL-3 loops, per IEC 61508. The IEC certification reduces costs by eliminating documentation and analysis efforts associated with the alternative prior-use methodology of certification.
This TUV approval results from factory and device audits, as well as validation of Failure Modes, Effects and Diagnostic Analysis (FMEDA) report from Exida, the industry safety consultants . Micro Motion devices offer the best FMEDA scores of any Coriolis vendor. The single tube units are approved for use with a SIL-2 capability and dual tube units can be used in SIL-3 functions, according to IEC 61508. No other flow meter manufacturer can match this capability.
Many process plants already rely on Micro Motion Coriolis meters for reliable and consistent performance in process control. The extensive experience of end-users with Micro Motion Coriolis flow meters bears testimony to their quality and reliability in demanding flow and density measurement applications. This is important because, when designing SIS functions, it should be remembered that choosing the right meter for measuring the process appropriately and accurately is the first pre-requite. Only Micro Motion SIS Coriolis meters offer the combined benefits of proven process measurement and safety-certification to IEC 61508.

Micro Motion Meter Verification Technology
Traditionally, device diagnostics have been limited to identifying failed devices or conditions only when off-spec product or variations start to erode quality or process efficiency. Practices required stopping the process or removing the flowmeter to verify performance meets quality, safety or regulatory requirements.
Emerson’s Micro Motion’s no need to remove meters and no secondary references are required. Resulting data alerts operators to non-conformance of the Coriolis meter, typically caused by erosion, corrosion, or other changes impacting the measurement. The technology is performed using Emerson’s AMS™ Suite predictive maintenance software or via the meter’s local operator interface.
This meter verification capability is faster and easier than other verification methods, and eliminates the need for proving meters or other labor- and equipment-intensive methods formerly used to verify performance.
Operators and plant engineers without extensive training can perform the test in under five minutes with no need to stop the process or use secondary references. By being able to predict if and when a flowmeter will need to be repaired, re-calibrated or replaced, customers can plan for a proactive maintenance mode, reducing downtime, increasing plant safety and improving product quality.

The Resonator line of Vibrating Liquid Level Switches was created for use in challenging chemical and petrochemical applications, including high viscosity environments to 20,000 cP. The devices utilize unique a piezoelectric driven tuning fork that exhibits a large change in resonant frequency when immersed in any liquid. This, combined with the industry’s widest selection of probe materials (316 Stainless Steel, Hastelloy C276, Hastelloy B, Monel, and Incoloy 600), makes them immune to coating or build-up, a common and expensive problem in the chem/petrochem arena. The Resonator’s innovative design ensures accurate, repeatable operation, whether measuring water, thick lubricants, or sticky slurries. In addition, a one-step, external calibration process eliminates hassles with equipment covers.With gap or float switches, measurement is dependent on dielectric constant or specific gravity, which can result in varying accuracies and, therefore, major process problems. The Resonator uses a smart, microprocessor design to keep the sensor in a resonant state as it changes from wet to dry or dry to wet conditions. This resonant frequency is unaffected by coating or build-up on the probe, allowing the level switch to measure without concern for specific gravity, dielectric constant, or mounting position of the sensor.

Space-Saver V2 System Flow Meter
The revolutionary V2 System Flow Meter measures liquid flow precisely using a fraction of the straight pipe run that others need. It’s a total solution that eliminates common new flow meter installation-space headaches.
The V2 System features its own built-in V-Cone flow conditioning technology, reducing the number of straight pipe diameters required for accurate measurement. The V-Cone forms very short vortices and creates a highly stable signal for precise flow measurement. It’s so stable that it rarely needs post-installation recalibration.
The cone’s central position in the line optimizes the velocity of the liquid flow at the point of measurement. The result is a highly stable flow profile for measurement accuracy from
The V2 System is ideal in multiple industrial water and wastewater flow measurement applications. It installs virtually anywhere in a plant’s piping system or easily retrofits into an existing layout. It reduces costs—with its compact footprint, reduced piping, simplified set-up and less labor.

The WLS-TEMP-ValuePack is a complete IEEE 802.15.4 wireless temperature measurement system in one package, that sets up easily in minutes, and sells at a remarkably low price. The WLS-TEMP measurement module supports eight channels of data from J, K, R, S, T, N, E, and B type thermocouples in addition to RTDs, thermistors, and semiconductor temperature sensors. Used in conjunction with a WLS-IFC USB-to-wireless interface module (included in the ValuePack), the system is capable of wireless data transfer at distances up to 150 feet indoors (up to a half mile, line-of-sight, outdoors); it can also transfer data via a direct USB connection. This is a very exciting functionality extension to Measurement Computing’s already popular USB product line. With the release of the WLS-TEMP-ValuePack and other wireless products, DAQ users are no longer tethered to their USB port. They now have the convenience of installing their DAQ devices at the point of measurement. The WLS series supports both wireless and USB communication an extremely flexible solution for users to enjoy.

Flexar guided wave radar continuous level sensor
The Flexar continuous level sensor combines state-of-the-art guided wave radar TDR technology with 5 decades of applications experience and focus in powder/bulk solids and the leading inventory management software, for remote and vendor managed inventory.

SNAP-AITM-8 High Density Thermocouple Module
The SNAP-AITM-8 is ideal for customers with applications requiring temperature monitoring, data acquisition, and control. The new input module accepts up to eight isolated thermocouple probes, quadrupling the density of standard SNAP thermocouple modules and reducing the cost per point by approximately 33%. This increased density can reduce required panel space for applications with a high number of thermocouple inputs—such as semiconductor, food, petrochemical, and pharmaceutical processing—to as little as 25% of the previous space required.
In addition to analog-to-digital conversion from type B, C, D, G, E, J, K, N, R, S and T thermocouples used in industrial, scientific, and medical research applications, the SNAP-AITM-8 can also be configured to accept millivolt readings in the -75 to +75, -50 to +50, and -25 to +25 ranges. This allows direct instrument readings from Wheatstone bridges, strain gauges, and other instruments and devices.

Marathon MM Series IR Thermometer
The cost-effective, state-of-the-art Marathon MM Series Infrared (IR) Thermometer by Raytek now offers adjustments to the sensor’s measurement target focus from a PC located in the safety of the user’s own office. Either by push-button at the rear of the instrument, or remotely via an RS232/RS485 PC connection where adjustments can be seen real-time through video, engineers can continuously observe and record temperature variations in their process in order to take immediate corrective action. Raytek is one of the few manufacturers of non-contact IR temperature sensors offering this motorized variable focus capability.Marathon MM Series sensors with the variable focus option can be configured according to each application’s requirement, thus reducing the installation time and chance for incorrect installation. This feature improves reliability, increases uptime, reduces waste, and is well suited for large, multiple-sensor installations where sensors are periodically replaced or the distance to the measurement object changes. The MM Series is available with simultaneous real-time video monitoring and automated image recording and storage. An optional live video feed is incorporated into its data acquisition and sensor programming software, allowing for active frame capture– a unique capability delivering valuable new process information at a price lower than competitive products.

SITRANS LR460 Solids Level Radar Transmitter
The Siemens SITRANS LR460 solids radar level transmitter incorporates patented process intelligence into a design capable of measuring solids materials up to 328 feet. With new Process Intelligence advanced echo-processing software and completely re-designed, high frequency/high gain circuitry, SITRANS LR 460 unit reliably measures these difficult applications – without ever touching the material.
This product has an extremely high signal-to-noise ratio which enables it to handle the dirtiest airspace conditions while providing a reliable, accurate measurement in tough solids material like cement, plastic powders, flyash, etc. This product has evolved in superiority from the popular SITRANS LR400. With the LR400 product’s dominance in the solids industry for radar level measurement, the new LR460 unit will build on that recognition. This product will offer a solution to even more applications on tough, dusty measurements, and broaden our application successes.

SITRANS FC300 DN4 coriolis flow meter
Approximately half the size of comparable devices, the SITRANS FC300 DN4 flowmeter
has a maximum capacity of 350 kilograms/hour (772 pounds/hour). With dimensions of just 135 x 205 x 58 mm or 5.3 x 8.1 x 2.3 inches (W x H x D), the entire unit only weighs 3.5 kilograms (7.7 pounds). Additionally, its durable design makes the sensor virtually impervious to process generated noise such as vibrations, pulsations and pressure shocks.
The FC300 delivers a stable flow signal with a large turndown and an accuracy of better than 0.1 percent of rate. The precision-made flow tube also offers a liquid density accuracy of less than 0.0015 grams/cubic centimeter, (0.09 pounds/cubic foot). The sensor consists of a single continuous straight pipe in a double bended configuration. The sensors are available in two materials, W1.4435 (AISI 316 L) stainless steel version with a maximum operating pressure of 130 bar (1900 psi), and a Hastelloy W2.4602 (C22) model with maximum operating pressure of 410 bar (5950 psi). The sensor interface is safe in accordance with Category IIC.
SITRANS FC300 uses a Siemens electrical multiple plug connector and
SENSORPROM memory concept that provides “plug and play”, trouble-free and safe
installation in less than 10 minutes. For OEM customers or large end users, this concept
significantly reduces the costs for installation, commissioning or service.