Display and protocol conversion modules aid industrial automation

Industrial computing and touchscreen specialist, Distec, now stocks more products from Red Lion Controls. It now stocks visualisation systems and protocol conversion modules, which are designed to help plant managers in the industrial automation, process engineering and manufacturing sectors to improve efficiency, accurately monitor production output and affordably create smart factories.

The range includes data logging protocol converters, industrial networking devices, operator interfaces and visualisation systems. Within each of these categories, there are products designed to meet industrial needs, such as Power over Ethernet (PoE) switches with either four or 16 slots to suit a variety of applications.

A notable addition is the Data Station Plus (DSP), a data logger that can connect multiple systems and convert communication protocols from legacy equipment to newer systems to ensure compatibility. Plant managers can use the built-in webserver to access performance data remotely and effectively monitor the status of equipment once systems are networked.

The smart factory needs compatibility between systems, as communication protocols vary between manufacturers. Traditionally, compatibility could only be achieved with a complete overhaul of equipment. Since many factories still use older equipment in their processes, the most cost-effective solution is for plant managers to invest in protocol converters. Older equipment however may be more susceptible to failure as components age. The DSP allows plant managers to review system performance remotely, but also control equipment through any networked device. They can also set up the DSP to deliver e-mail and SMS alerts about any issues that arise, which means action can be taken immediately.

The DSPs as well as operator panels and plant-floor visualisation systems are programmed with Red Lion’s Crimson 3.0 software, which features the latest drivers for over 300 industrial communication protocols. All data logged through the software can be synced to FTP and Microsoft SQL servers, which can be subsequently exported in a .CSV format for analysis.



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