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ABB provides ethernet connectivity to flowmeters

Tuesday, June 4, 2024

ABB transforms flow measurement in the field with Ethernet-APL connectivity

ABB is bringing the benefits of Ethernet communications to flow measurement with the integration of Ethernet-APL (Advanced Physical Layer) connectivity in its flowmeters for the first time. The new FSS400 Swirl and FSV400 Vortex flowmeters now offer possibilities for simplified connectivity and high-speed collection and analysis of a wealth of process and diagnostic data in the field. Vortex and Swirl flowmeters are among the most widely used flowmeters in chemical factories, oil & gas operations, and hydrogen plants.

Ethernet, the most common communication technology, is already used in industrial applications as the physical layer for collecting data and control of remote I/O and electrical equipment using protocols like PROFINET and Modbus. However, in most process industries, its application has remained minimal due to concerns around safety, cost, and limitations on cable length that have made it difficult to establish communication networks across large industrial facilities.

These issues have been addressed by the creation of Ethernet-APL. Built on the successful cooperation of 12 major industry suppliers of process automation, including ABB, and four international standard organizations, Ethernet-APL offers enhanced data rates of up to 10Mbps, shielded two-wire connection for carrying power and data safely over the same cable, and cable lengths of up to 1,000 meters. Intrinsic safety is also fully integrated, including a profile that limits supply voltage and current to eliminate the risk of sparking, enabling Ethernet-APL to be deployed in hazardous environments.

'We are redefining digital connectivity in industrial applications and offering a leap in measurement performance by making high-speed transmission of field data possible,' said Amina Hamidi, Managing Director, BL Instrumentation, ABB Measurement & Analytics.

The FSV400 Vortex and the FSS400 Swirl flowmeters are easily configurable over Ethernet-APL with any standard web browser and industrial protocols such as PROFINET and the widely adopted TCP/IP - no tools, drivers or specific software are required.
By providing a high-speed channel for process data as well as configuration and diagnostic information, Ethernet-APL offers a readily scalable solution for connecting devices in the field to a control system. It enables simplified networking with all instruments in the plant as well as opening new opportunities for process optimization by utilizing valuable data that has previously been locked away.

With the ability to measure volumetric, mass and energy flow, as well as process temperature, the Swirl and Vortex flowmeters with Ethernet-APL open new possibilities for operators to make operational decisions and carry out predictive maintenance based on real-time data, significantly reducing potential errors and downtime.

By enabling fast access to an expanded array of process and device data, Ethernet-APL also offers benefits for plant operators facing the challenge of gathering data from potentially hundreds or even thousands of devices when combined with ABB's Ability SmartMaster suite. SmartMaster is an asset performance management platform that enables fast troubleshooting, remote diagnostics, non-invasive process analytics, and many other possibilities by combining operational data, engineering data, and IT services.

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