• Ethernet communications provide easy connectivity and high speed data analysis to advanced flowmeter technology

Analytical Instrumentation

Ethernet communications provide easy connectivity and high speed data analysis to advanced flowmeter technology

Jun 19 2024

The benefits of Ethernet communications have been introduced to flow measurement by integrating Ethernet-APL (Advanced Physical Layer) connectivity to ABB’s flowmeters for the first time. ABB’s FSS400 Swirl and FSV400 Vortex flowmeters offer simplified connectivity and high-speed collection and analysis of process and diagnostic data in the field. Vortex and Swirl are among the most ubiquitous flowmeters used in chemical production facilities, oil and gas operations, and hydrogen plants.

Ethernet is widely used by industry as the physical layer for data collection and the control of remote I/O and electrical equipment using protocols such as Modbus and PROFINET. Until now, its use in process industries has been restricted because of concerns about safety, cost, and limited cable lengths that have fettered efforts to establish effective communication networks at large industrial plants.

Ethernet-APL has solved these problems. Twelve major process automation providers, including ABB, and four international standard organisations worked together so that Ethernet-APL now provides their customers significantly improved data rates of up to 10Mbps, shielded two-wire connection to convey power and data safely over the same cable – which is now up to a kilometre in length. Intrinsic safety is all part of the package and includes a profile that limits voltage and current supply to avoid any risk of sparking, thereby enabling Ethernet-APL to be used in hazardous industrial environments.

Amina Hamidi, Managing Director, BL Instrumentation, ABB Measurement & Analytics stated “We are redefining digital connectivity in industrial applications and offering a leap in measurement performance by making high-speed transmission of field data possible”.

ABB’s FSV400 Vortex and the FSS400 Swirl flowmeters are easy to configure over Ethernet-APL using all standard web browsers and industrial protocols including PROFINET and TCP/IP, no tools, drivers or specific software are needed.

Ethernet-APL provides operators with an efficient, scalable solution for connecting devices in the plant to a control system, by delivering a high-speed channel for process data along with configuration and diagnostic information. End users enjoy simplified networking with all instruments in the plant as well as new ways to achieve process optimisation by using important data that was, until now, inaccessible.

Swirl and Vortex flowmeters with Ethernet-APL can measure volumetric, mass/energy flow and process temperature, enabling end users to make operational decisions and perform predictive maintenance based on real-time data, thereby reducing possible costly errors and downtime considerably.

When working in conjunction with ABB’s Ability™ SmartMaster suite, Ethernet-APL also helps plant operators needing to gather data from hundreds or even thousands of devices. SmartMaster is ABB’s asset performance management platform that provides fast troubleshooting, remote diagnostics, and non-invasive process analytics, along with several other significant advantages, by merging operational and engineering data, and IT services.

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