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Digital pressure transmitters offer wireless communication and sensor diagnostics

Future-proof solutions for Industry 4.0
Digital pressure transmitters offer wireless communication and sensor diagnostics

Enhanced connectivity, Heartbeat Technology and even more sophisticated features: The Cerabar and Deltabar pressure transmitters realise the full potential of Industry 4.0. Picture: Endress+Hauser
The intelligent functions of the of the Cerabar and Deltabar absolute and differential pressure transmitters pave the way to Industry 4.0 and offer plant operators smart process reliability. If ordered with the optional Bluetooth and Heartbeat Technology features, the pressure transmitters meet all the key criteria mentioned in the Namur roadmap for process sensors: these features offer wireless communication and sensor diagnostics and provide sensor and process data.

Apart from temperature and concentration, the measurement parameter pressure is crucial in the process and quality of chemical reactions. What’s more, the pressure built up in containers and pipes is of significant importance when it comes to safety in the chemical process industry, in the oil & gas industry and in power plants. The Cerabar and Deltabar pressure measurement product lines feature intelligent functions and are designed to meet the safety requirements of these industries. With a broad range of sensors, best possible measuring performance and all the necessary certificates, these instruments can be used in the most demanding pressure measurement applications.

The ceramic measuring cell is an example of a pressure sensor that has already proven itself. The ultra-pure ceramic measuring cell shows its full capacity in high-vacuum applications, when aggressive or abrasive media are involved or short-time pressure shocks occur. In addition, it comes with integrated membrane failure detection.

Equipped with Bluetooth wireless technology

The Bluetooth interface adds to the ease of use of the Cerabar and Deltabar product lines. Endress+Hauser Bluetooth interfaces feature a special protocol (PAKE) that differs from that used by consumer devices such as smartphones or fitness trackers, which means that the Bluetooth connection between the Smartblue app and a pressure transmitter is not compromised and IT security is maintained. Attacks manipulating the connection between app and device can thus be excluded. Accordingly, the security of the wireless connection technology received positive ratings from the Fraunhofer Institute for Applied and Integrated Security (AISEC): Protocol ”high”,Algorithms “high”. Only personal ID cards with an integrated NFC interface offer a higher degree of security.

More smart process safety

From the perspective of plant operators, the ideal measuring instrument is completely self-monitoring. With Heartbeat Technology, Endress+Hauser devices come quite close to this ideal, since it relieves operators of most of the effort of monitoring their devices. As a first step, this includes permanent device diagnostics with plain text messages according to NE 107. Heartbeat Technology also renders laborious on-site troubleshooting at the measuring point a thing of the past: When a fault occurs, the revised display turns from green to red and provides clues directly on-site.

An app-based operating sequence guides operating personnel through a device verification process that can be executed at any time (Heartbeat Verification), and the results are recorded in a verification protocol – without interrupting the process or removing the device from the line. The integrated Heartbeat monitoring functions will in future provide additional device and process information obtained from statistical analysis of sensor data or detect undervoltage at any time.

Ready for SIL2 and SIL3 applications

Like their predecessors, the product lines were developed according to IEC 61508, so they can be directly used in SIL2 or – in homogeneous redundancy – in SIL3 applications. When using pressure transmitters in safety-instrumented process control systems, it is essential for the plant operator to eliminate systematic errors and at the same time reduce the time spent on each SIL measuring point. The pressure transmitters can be operated without removing the housing lid by means of the touch buttons integrated in the display. This also avoids possible corrosion issues caused by humidity penetrating the device while opening and closing it. The new digital assistants for SIL locking and proof testing according to SIL also help to avoid systematic errors. They provide step-by-step guidance while testing, like the checklist pilots follow before take-off. When completing an operating sequence, the user can obtain a PDF test protocol, e. g. via the Bluetooth interface and the Smartblue app.

Unleash data potential for Industry 4.0 applications

Industry 4.0 process sensors open up numerous exciting opportunities for plant operators to make use of the data collected from sensors. The key to success is, however, the transparency and availability of the additional information. Mostly, 97 % of all sensor data remains unused. The cloud-based platform Netilion sets out to exploit the potential to the full. The free Netilion scanner app makes the manual inventory of the installed base really easy. The relevant pressure transmitter data can be captured by using either a QR code or an RFID chip. Additional information, e. g. the position of the measuring point, can be entered easily.

Netilion Library provides documentation for the captured pressure instruments at any time, eliminating the previously cumbersome search for relevant documents and reducing maintenance and commissioning times. Meanwhile, the data platform holds data sets of more than 40 million installed devices.

Netilion Analytics automatically links these digital twins to the measuring point documents. A dashboard containing all captured measuring points offers a complete overview of the plant, so that the operator can tell at a glance which pressure instruments are no longer available for purchase, for example.

Netilion Health, an online service, supports plant operators with more than 25,000 device diagnostics. The service supplements the pressure transmitters’ status messages with diagnostic codes according to NE 107, error causes and recommended actions – which frees the plant operator from difficult fault interpretation, allowing them to address every fault or error message in a simple and targeted manner.

Endress+Hauser GmbH + Co. KG, Weil am Rhein, Germany

Author: Alexander Hermann

Product Manager Pressure Measurement,

Endress+Hauser Germany

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