Programmable PXI modules simulate current loop-based sensors

To mimic current loop sensors in industrial control applications, the model 41-765 analogue output/current loop simulator modules are available from Pickering Interfaces.

They are aimed at simulating industrial control transceivers, using 4.0 to 20mA current loops. They are part of the range of PXI simulation modules and enable slew rates to be programmed so that different sensors can be effectively mimicked, says Pickering.

The 41-765 analogue output/current loop simulators feature multiple output modes (4.0 to 20mA, 0 to 24mA, ±24mA, 0 to 5.0V, ±5V, and ±12mV, which also improve simulation accuracy, claims Pickering. The modules include built-in relays for shorts and opens functionality enabling fault insertion testing on every channel. Devices can also work in full isolation mode to avoid ground loops.

The 41-765 modules deliver from four to 16 channels in one PXI slot, making them the highest density simulators of their type, says Pickering, freeing up PXI or LXI/USB chassis slots for other instrumentation. In addition to a soft front panel, the modules include kernel and Visa drivers. All major programming environments, including C/C++, .NET, Python, LabVIEW and MATLAB, are supported.

Paul Bovingdon, simulation product manager, at Pickering Interfaces, explained where they can be used: “Most simulators are manual handheld devices. By automating the process, the 41-765 analogue output/current loop simulator modules save time and improve accuracy in simulation applications such as hardware in the loop.

The modules are designed to simulate industrial current loop transceivers in applications such as process instrumentation, proportional–integral–derivative (PID) controllers, SCADA (supervisory control and data acquisition) systems, and programmable logic controllers (PLCs). The 41-765 modules carry a three year warranty.

The modules can self-power using the PXI chassis supply or can be powered externally in full isolation mode. A channel can source or sink, emulating a transmitter or receiver. A PXIe version is available upon request.

Pickering also provides a full range of compatible cables and breakouts.

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