and a fully scaleable and flexible technology base for responding to and integrating future requirements. Also the ability to communicate directly with standard protocols means that any number of systems can be integrated, on a single data cable and controlled and monitored from a central location, all of this utilising any standard plant and maintenance skills.
‘Plug & Play’ Simplicity
The development of Sentro 8 has brought about a rugged 8-channel integrated sensor station. Inside, there is a facility for up to eight pre-calibrated sensing modules. These sensing modules are literally intelligent ‘plug-and-play’ elements each with its own processor for intelligent data storage and signal conditioning circuits. Indeed, they have a massive capacity to store up to 4,000 points of data. They are designed to continuously display the data they retrieve, store the full service history such as data logging, calibration, failure modes and alarm settings, and they run self-diagnostic checks. They are also designed to be simply replaced with pre-calibrated modules whenever required, making maintenance, service and calibration straight forward.
The compact, high strength IP65, EMC protected housing features a large LCD screen giving high brightness, dot matrix display for clear information about all eight sensor channels with direct on-screen instructions and diagnostic data. Also fitted are an integral sounder and warning beacon and a waterproof keypad.
Networking Via a Single Cable
Increased processing capabilities of the new technology allows the sensors to communicate directly with the Modbus protocol, whereas previously conventional analogue signals would have had to go through data conversion modules in order to communicate with datacom systems. Once again the potential benefits within large plants or on multiple sites are huge.
This means that the new system Sentro 8 can use a standard RS485 connection to link up to 32 sensing stations into one cable to a PC running SCADA (supervisory control and data acquisition) software package. The capability of communicating this way over distances in excess of 1 kilometre on a standard cable, allows for ultimate efficiency and one-man supervision. It is also possible to link the local RS485 / Modbus network onto larger Ethernet networks opening up the possibility of monitoring the Sentro 8 from anywhere in the world via the internet.
Meeting Safety and Electrical Standards
The Sentro 8 concept has resulted in a system of pure simplicity with no complex functionality, simple two-button programming, and clip-in clip-out sensor heads. It is also an example of conformity to the WEE directives on sustainable product development where a product should be designed to be adaptable for another purpose in the future. Any future systems required can be incorporated into the existing architecture whether it’s gas or plant condition monitoring.
The safety aspect too cannot be under estimated. Whereas once a sensing system would have been needed to be housed in a large and heavy explosion proof housing, the small overall size of the new development means that it is easier to design housings suitable for applications in hazardous areas and with improved levels of