ProSoft Technology’s version 2.05 upgrade has been released for the inRAx line of single-slot in-chassis flow computers for Rockwell Automation platforms.
These modules are full-function in-rack flow computers on the market and these integrated solutions are significantly less expensive than stand-alone options, with greater speed and capabilities because they are tied directly into the backplane of the controller.
The modules act as an add-on calculator to the processor without burdening the PLC/PAC with complicated flow algorithms. Version 2.05 modules provide the following enhancements:
In flow applications, RTUs and SCADA networks often use the open Modbus protocol because of its common support and its multi-point (polled) architecture.
The inRAx flow computers provide a Modbus Master port to allow users to poll data from a remote chromatograph device. The modules have a vast internal Modbus map, so for the convenience of the user the version 2.05 upgrade was equipped with a Modbus dictionary, which acts as an index for users to locate needed data.
Stand-alone flow computers are relatively expensive and are often limited to only a few meter runs, which increases implementation and maintenance costs and creates more potential points of failure by complicating wiring designs.
Alternatively, the inRAx integrated flow computer supports anywhere from 8-16 meter runs, and now version 2.05 modules support multiple streams (up to 4 per meter) and allow the PLC/PAC to switch the active stream via the module over the backplane of the controller.
Data archival/event logging:
Version 2.05 modules have an expanded data archival and event logging feature, which allows 35 regular daily and 48 regular hourly archives and 1,440 daily and hourly extended archives per meter.
Craig Resnick, research director at ARC Advisory Group, comments, “ProSoft Technology’s AFC Flow Computers fully leverage the trend of utilizing the higher processing power available today in PLCs, which offer a programming environment that supports development of complex algorithms and drives PLC use into many traditional process applications. End users are able to achieve lower system costs as PLC solutions typically provide a favourable price position versus potential alternative solutions with no compromise in reliability or durability."
The inRAx line of flow computers use the AGA 3, 7 and 8 measurement standards, and API 2540 calculation standards.
Modules are available for the following Rockwell Automation platforms: ControlLogix (MVI56-AFC), SLC 500 (MVI46-AFC), PLC-5 (MVI71-AFC), and CompactLogix (MVI69-AFC).