Hardware and software enhancements to 2500 System

Pigment & Resin Technology

ISSN: 0369-9420

Publication date: 1 October 2000

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(2000), "Hardware and software enhancements to 2500 System", Pigment & Resin Technology, Vol. 29 No. 5. https://doi.org/10.1108/prt.2000.12929eaf.002

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Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2000, MCB UP Limited


Hardware and software enhancements to 2500 System

Hardware and software enhancements to 2500 System

Keywords: Eurotherm, Control systems

The performance of Eurotherm's 2500 System, the powerful control concept launched by the company last year, has reportedly been considerably enhanced by the addition of a number of new hardware and software developments. What the company is calling 2500 – Phase II, is now said to extend the capability of the system's control algorithms, add new 110 hardware types, and provide higher packing density for analogue and digital signals. A new processor option also provides the 2500 with open connectivity to other third-party systems using the Proribus DP communications protocol.

The 2500 System uses a flexible modular "building block" concept of great flexibility to bridge the gap between accurate local analogue control systems – usually based on discrete PID controllers – and more complex digital process control architectures. It incorporates a number of novel hardware and software interactions that are believed to provide fast, accurate response times for analogue process and machine control systems.

New hardware features include DI8; an eight channel digital input unit available in two variants. The "Contact" variant is designed for clean contact or switch input applications, and includes a 12V dc wetting supply. The "Logic" variant is optimised for logic level driver applications, with high input impedance and 24V capability. All channels are isolated to 250V from the 2500 base, and each channel provides filtering or "de-bounce" to assist noise rejection. Both of these digital modules are said to provide high packing densities at a much-reduced cost per point.

2500 System terminal units are now also available with built-in isolator links (test disconnects) or fuses, up to a total of four links or fuses dependent on module type. Isolator links disconnect field connections from the module and are useful for testing,’commissioning or maintenance purposes. These assemblies are stated to be designed to save cost in terms of user wiring time and the extra component cost of separate isolation terminals. The integral nature of the isolator units is also thought to save valuable panel space.

There are three main software enhancements to 2500 Phase H. First, replacing them with two configurable control blocks has enhanced the functionality of the system's two existing control loops. These can be configured in four different ways. The first is as a standard Single Loop control (providing backwards compatibility) as in Phase I, the second as a Ratio Control pair – which allows the controlled variable to follow an external input at a set ratio.

The third possible configuration is as a classical Dual Loop Cascade control, with full bumpless, procedureless auto/manual/remote switching. All necessary interlocks are made internally so that wiring and configuration are simple. The fourth configuration is as an Override Control pair, allowing a secondary loop to take over the main control output in order to prevent an undesirable operating condition – for example, in a temperature control system with high pressure override.

Finally, the list of standard linearisations available with the 2500 has been extended by the addition of C-type thermocouples, and up to three non-standard customers' chosen linearisations can now be downloaded to the 2500. Custom linearisation tables are generated using the "polyfit" tool, and the linearisations themselves are then chosen and downloaded using "iTools". They can then be selected for use with any analogue input.

The Profibus DP enhancement can now be ordered instead of the standard Modbus communications protocol. The module uses a standard Profibus driver, operating at up to 12 MBaud, and provides 5OV functional isolation. An isolated PSU inside the module means that the Profibus driver circuits do not require external power via the interface connector.

According to Martin Phillips, Eurotherm's sales director, these System 2500 – Phase II enhancements are just the first in an ongoing programme of further development. He comments:

While the 2500 has proved to be an exceptionally powerful system to date, we naturally wish to ensure that its functionality remains outstanding. We have therefore put considerable effort into enhancing its versatility, and plan to add further standard and optional enhancements to the system as they are developed. We should be able to announce a Phase HI package of enhancements within a few months.

Details available from: Eurotherm. Tel: +44 (0) 1903 268500; Fax: +44 (0)1903 695666; E-mail: info@controls.eurotherm.co.uk; Web site: www.eurotherm.co.uk