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Configuration and monitoring package

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EUROTHERM has introduced a new version of its iTools configuration and monitoring package. Version 5.50 features a number of enhancements, including the ability to create custom user screens and configuration Wizards to simplify controller configuration.

It has a graphical wiring editor to configure Eurotherm's Model 3500 process controllers. This feature transforms PID controller configurations, allowing advanced control, logic, mathematical, and hybrid control applications to be quickly and easily configured with a standard drag and drop graphical editor screen. Each function block can be edited from the graphical screen using pop up and drop down windows. To allow for documentation, the screen can also be loaded with comments and notes. For commissioning, real time monitoring points can be added to any function blocks on the screen to provide a complete interface for the entire process.

The iTools suite allows configuration and monitoring of all Eurotherm Series 2000 and Series 3000 controllers. It can also configure and monitor the T630 process controller and also provide runtime monitoring of 5000 Series data acquisition and management units. It is capable of editing, storing and cloning complete controller configurations. It can set up data logging, process monitoring, Ethernet and modem connections, and generate order codes.

The suite employs an OPC (OLE for Process Control) server which uses MODBUS to communicate with the controllers. The server connects to the controllers via serial communications, Ethernet, or a telephone modem. The server may also be used by third party client software such as Wonderware and LabVIEW. A DDE link allows parameter values to be displayed live in an Excel spreadsheet or similar application. Historical logged data can also be imported into Excel.

The view builder module allows users to create PC-based user screens or mini-SCADA screens for simple process monitoring, commissioning and diagnostics. A toolkit enables the user to develop their own screens, without the need for more than the most basic overview of the program. Any number of screens can be developed and linked together. The cost effective iView program has no limit on addressable tags and uses the OPC drag and drop tag address for fast and simple connection to available I/O.

The system can configure all standard I/O and display parameters as well as configuring advanced features. These features include set point profiling, as used in batch control. The graphical format of the setpoint programmer allows for simple setup of the set point, segment time, and type of profile (dwell, ramp or step). It also offers holdback (ensuring the segment criteria is met before advancing) and wait parameters. The programmer can be used to configure the digital event outputs for the advanced 2704 controller. A graphical interface is also provided for programming the logic, math and analogue functions of the 2704 controller.

A controller's configuration program can be stored. In the event of damage to an existing unit or expansion, the cloned file can be simply uploaded to a new unit for fast installation with minimum downtime. If any parameter is changed during the service life, the original configuration can easily be uploaded to return the unit to the original specifications. Alternatively a new file with the revised configuration can be made.

Another main feature of the iTools package is a datalogging program called OPCscope. This program allows for datalogging of any parameter in a controller or series of controllers on a ModBus network, plus 5000 series recorders on the PC network. The data can be viewed in real time on the screen, with variable logging rates from 1 second to 1 month. Information is stored to a text file for simple import to third party programs for data processing. OPCscope provides an inexpensive datalogging option for standard control equipment.

It also provides a simple DDE interface to programs such as Excel for real time data transfer. For simple interfacing to SCADA packages such as Wonderware, CiTech and Iconics, an OPC driver is available with the open version of the iTools package. This driver allows OPC tags to be utilised. This allows greatly reduced development time for application writing using the drag and drop tags.

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