2016 Product of the Year Finalists: Automation and Controls
Finalists in the Automation and Controls category for the Plant Engineering 2016 Product of the Year competition.
Transparent gate valve
The Transparent Gate Valve Lockout device features a clear color to add visibility and help reinforce lockout and facility safety. Designed to provide a safer and more visual environment, the device enables customers to prevent exposure to hazardous chemicals, check to see if lock valve handles are in a precise position, and quickly draw attention to valve leakage. The Transparent Gate Valve Lockout is made of a rugged, injection-molded polypropylene to provide chemical resistance. It's available in five different sizes, accepts shackles up to 3/8 in. in diameter, and can handles temperatures from -40 to 302 F.
Alarm management software
DeltaV Alarm Mosaic provides dynamic visualization of current active alarms for a highly comprehendible view of alarm floods. Operator actions are integrated into Alarm Mosaic views for efficient operator evaluation of actions that may have contributed to the alarms. A history view in Alarm Mosaic enables comprehensive shift transition discussions of alarms and actions occurring in previous shifts. Operators can quickly evaluate relationships between control actions and new alarms, and evaluate shared alarm characteristics such as alarm type or assigned primary display. Shared characteristics can help identify the root cause for an alarm flood.
EZTimer is a multi-function programmable timer with LED display and two simple push buttons that can serve as an economical direct replacement for most octal or 11-pin socket time delay relays (TDRs) in the market. EZTimers can perform simple control functions without the need for a programmable logic controller (PLC). With the all-in-one programmable EZTimer users have the flexibility to program the delay to activate the relay anywhere from 0.01 seconds to 999 hours. The standard multi-function EZTimer has four modes of operation: Delay on Make (Timed on Delay), Delay on Break (Timed off Delay), Cycle, and Single Shot modes.
Wireless connection device
EZWiFi eliminates the worry about connecting to an EZAutomation device in an inaccessible location. Simply install EZWiFi on the device and directly connect from a computer over WiFi. EZWiFi is equipped with two wireless modes: Infrastructure Mode, which connects any laptop to the device as long as they are on the internal network; and AdHoc Mode, which does not require any access point or router and instead establishes its own to allow communication. Each EZWifi is individually programmed with a unique SSID and password to reduce the risk of the device being access by a third party when in AdHoc Mode.
Click Ethernet PLCs feature a built-in 10/100 Mbps Ethernet communications port for programming and Modbus TCP networking, and a standard RS-232 serial communications port. These PLCs are 3 to 10 times faster than existing Click PLCs and are compatible with existing Click units. With eight input points and six output points built in, Click Ethernet PLCs are available with 24 Vdc or 120 Vac inputs and dc or relay outputs, and can be used as a complete PLC system. The PLCs also include a calendar/real-time clock, battery backup, and the capability to perform run time edits. Click Ethernet PLC units are configured with easy-to-use programming software.
Power supply unit
Quint power supplies provide users with improved configuration and diagnostics to ensure reliable power to the control system. The units newly feature near-field communications (NFC), real-time monitoring, coordinated surge protection, and a configurable dc output characteristic. With secured NFC, the power supplies can be configured while still in the box. User-definable settings allow monitoring of real-time dc current, power, or voltage using a 4-20 mA analog output. Quint power supplies can also be made tamper-proof by locking out the push buttons on the front panel and creating a user-defined password. Operating hours, dc input voltage, overvoltage, and temperature derating can also be monitored with dry contact outputs.
Phoenix Contact, www.phoenixcontact.com
The Allen-Bradley ControlLogix 5580 controller provides up to 45% more application capacity and includes an embedded 1-Gb Ethernet port to support high-performance communications, I/O, and applications with up to 256 axes of motion. With this controller, users can meet future capacity and throughput needs as they design smart machines and work toward building a connected enterprise. The new port and additional capacity cuts the amount of control and communications hardware required, reducing system complexity, costs, and required panel space. The controller also supports enhanced security as part of a defense-in-depth approach to help protect facilities, assets and intellectual property.
Rockwell Automation, www.rockwellautomation.com
Plant automation program
The Simatic PCS 7 v8.2 improves user convenience as well as performance and efficiency of the process control system over the entire life cycle of process plants—from the planning stage through maintenance. Simatic PCS 7 offers individual, networked, and reliable plant monitoring. Web systems can be operated and observed over the Intranet/Internet. The platform features Logic Matrix, which plays a key role in ensuring efficient plant engineering by allowing the efficient switching of interlock statuses in a production plant in compliance with the cause and effect principle. Logic Matrix can be efficiently processed, exported, or imported with Microsoft Excel.
HMI panel for extreme environments
The high performance Simatic TP700 Comfort Outdoor Panel is built to reliably operate in extreme ambient conditions. The maintenance-free human-machine interface (HMI) panel is equipped with a UV-protected device front with an IP66 degree of protection. It operates from - 30 to 60 C and in up to 90% air humidity. A high-resolution and daylight-readable 7-in. display with an aspect ratio of 16:9 and up to 16 million colors also displays complex process or plant images. A high degree of glare reduction, wide reading angles, and automatic dimming allow for reliable and strain-free operator control and monitoring. Data is easily read in weather changes or changing light conditions.
Controller programming environment
ARGEE turns compatible I/O devices into field logic controllers (FLCs), creating cost-effective, device-level control for industrial applications. With this solution, logic can be programmed directly to compatible I/O devices without a PLC. This improves operation efficiency for plant managers and engineers, especially at small- to mid-size companies, by reducing the cost per I/O point and increasing flexibility in control. The ARGEE programming environment allows users to program condition and action statements to be carried out by the I/O device. ARGEE uses a flow-chart structure to make programming easy for users of all experience levels.
Printer marking system
THM MultiMark is an all-in-one printer marking system that incorporates a range of marking solutions that would normally require several different printing devices. The system consists of the compact and modular THM MultiMark thermal transfer printer and an innovative line of reel formatted MultiMark markers to fit onto modular terminal blocks, wire and cable, and equipment. THM MultiMark gives the user the capability to produce virtually any type of alpha-numeric and symbol identification. The printer is highly versatile, printing markers and labels from the MultiMark marker family as well as continuous materials such as textile/polyester adhesive labels, heat-shrink wire/cable sleeves, and PLC-field panel adapter labels.