LAN Connectivity for Modern Process Instruments


Courtesy of Eco Physics Inc.

Process instruments such as gas analyzers are data sources, which feed a multitude of users. In general,
the instruments provide these data analog or digitized through an RS232 interface. However, the data
transfer by this interface has to be located close to the controlling PC, because RS232 is designed for
short distances only. Beyond, the PC has to be dedicated and opts as master. With a multiport interface
in the PC several instruments can be controlled in parallel. To overcome these limitations – distance and
dedication – instrument manufacturer have discovered the potential of Ethernet-LAN-interfaces and
started to implement it into their analyzers.
Each instrument receives a designated IP number and the communication from every user in the network
through the RJ45 UTP ethernet cable can be accomplished (see figure below). Different user may not
simultaneously access the same instrument, but sequentially with the big advantage not to be limited to
a dedicated PC. Beyond there is an additional advantage: External support from anywhere in the world
can access such a specific analyzer provided the LAN administrator allows the passage through the
firewall. Many new intelligent instruments such as the ECO PHYSICS series CLD 60 or the modular CLD
800 series NOx analyzers will be included into a local network, because they offer already today an
RJ45 LAN connector – many more analyzers will follow this path!

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