World's first Controllers & Panel Meters
with embedded internet.
Web technology was one of the hottest topics at the recent
ISA show in New Orleans, USA. Web-based portals and wireless
monitoring and control gave the impression we will soon be able
to examine, diagnose, and even change set points on our
processes using any computer, personal digital assistant (PDA),
or cell phone from anywhere in the world.
Central to the concept is serving up process data on a web page, and
Newport Electronics has obviously been working on the idea for some time.
At the show, the company introduced what it calls the world's first
web-enabled controllers, panel meters, transmitters, and signal
The iSeries meters and controllers connect directly to an Ethernet
network with a standard RJ-45 connector and can send and receive
data in standard TCP/IP packets.
"You can now connect a £160 digital panel meter or controller directly
to an Ethernet network, just like a computer or network printer" says
Newport's General Manager Steve Hollander. "The device is a separate
node-you assign it an IP address and give it a name if you like."
The devices can serve web pages over an Ethernet LAN or over the
Internet to monitor and control a process through a web browser from
anywhere in the facility or around the world.
"In fact, the device could be assigned an authorised Internet IP address
from an internet service provider and function as a web server delivering
whatever specific information is called for." adds Mr. Hollander.
"For example, using a 1/16 DIN temperature controller to control a heater,
an engineer can monitor the temperature, change set points or alarm
points, turn the heater on and off, or make other modifications from
anywhere on the local network, or anywhere on the Internet," says Hollander.
"The web pages are easily customised and secure, password-protected
access to the devices is easily controlled. And it requires no special
software on the engineer's computer to view the data and supervise
the controller-nothing other than a web browser."
The controller can even send an email to the engineer (or any number
of people they choose) alerting them to an alarm condition or updating
the status. Utilising the technology of the Internet, the engineer could
receive a message from his controller on an Internet-enabled pager
or cell phone.
Mr. Hollander says you could do this a year ago, but you needed a computer.
"You could already accomplish all this by connecting the instruments on
a bus to a computer, including computers small enough to be packaged
in a DIN rail enclosure. But that approach adds an unnecessary level
of complexity and expense to many applications. The iSeries meter or
controller connects directly to the Ethernet Network, not to the serial port
of a computer. These small instruments are full standalone Internet
appliances. The Ethernet and web-server capability is actually embedded
in the device."
The iSeries also works with conventional data-acquisition and control
programs as well as Visual Basic and Excel. Free software and demos
are provided to make it fast and easy to get up and running with many
The company has also introduced the same Embedded Internet capability
in a discrete DIN rail-mounted device that can be a hub connecting up to
32 instruments with serial communications to Ethernet and the Internet.
The iServer is both a web server and an Ethernet-serial bridge, compatible
with RS-232, RS-422, and RS-485.
Not just web servers, the iSeries devices are also high-quality, competent
instruments. The panel meters and controllers offer a five-year warranty;
accuracy within 0.03% of reading; big bright LED displays that can be
programmed to change colours between green, amber and red at any
set point or alarm point; universal inputs for thermocouple, RTD, voltage
or current; and two optional autotune PID control or alarm outputs: relay,
SSR, DC pulse, or analogue.
Pricing for these exciting new devices (meters and controllers) with
embedded Internet starts at approximately £160. The DIN rail-mounted
iServer sells for less than £70.
The iSeries devices and iServer are available throughout Europe from
OMEGA ENGINEERING in Manchester. The instruments are in stock
for immediate delivery.
For more information, please contact :-
Omega Engineering Ltd.
Tel: +44(0)161 777 6611 Fax: +44(0)161 777 6622