No one wants to lug laptops and other clunky boxes around the plant or factory all day when lithe PDAs can do many of the same jobs as quickly and as well. From programming to process control, personal data assistants are feeling welcome in industrial settings these days, as these three new products can attest.
Calmotion Digital Drive with Palm Pilot setup
Any Palm OS device with serial capability can plug into an RS-232 port on Calmotion's new DC104 drive, designed for custom embedded applications. Using the Palm OS version of the DC104's software, a developer can program most of the same functions available through the standard PC software. The drive accepts commercially available piggyback PC/104 processors. PC/104 networking and I/O cards plug in as well, and are available in 2, 5, and 10A sizes. The Calmotion software is available as a free download at http://rbi.ims.ca/4397-513.
ABB Process Portal
Designed to run on any Pocket PC, the Process Portal A system communicates with the handhelds through Bluetooth, wireless LAN, or GSM/GPRS/3G, giving process personnel access to process monitoring and control from the plant floor. Alarms can be acknowledged on the spot. A recent installation at a mineral processing plant in Sweden has brought about quicker troubleshooting, the company reports. The system has sped up commissioning of new equipment there as well, ABB says. For more on the mobile control room, see http://rbi.ims.ca/4397-511.
Allen Bradley Pocket Drive Explorer
Pocket PC based Pocket Drive Explorer software from Allen Bradley can program both past and present generations of AB drives, according to Product Manager Greg Mears. The Pocket PC, which fits in a hand or belt clip, can communicate through a serial port, over a wireless Ethernet or WiFi link, or—the latest—via Bluetooth. On the factory floor, the Pocket PC can display a monitor screen, lists of parameters, as well as device properties such as fault and event queue and alarms. For a table of connectivity options, seehttp://rbi.ims.ca/4397-512.