Industrial plants for producing steel, for casting or for thermal processing technology place different requirements on their gas supply and rely on different automation concepts. Therefore, communication between components must always be tailored to the specific needs of the plant. Bürkert Fluid Control Systems is presenting a range of automation concepts for gas control based on its proven mass flow controllers (MFC). Possibilities range from data exchange through to “conventional” analogue standardised interfaces and digital networking using all common fieldbus protocols all the way to plug-and-play MFC assemblies, not to mention complete control cabinets including all components for gas control.
Tailored automation concepts
For smaller or simpler plants where only small amounts of data need to be transferred, the conventional analogue interface is the ideal choice. Start-up and maintenance are straightforward, and signals can be checked with the help of simple aids. These vendor-neutral devices operate independently of the controller and are extremely easy to replace. If diagnostic data, device state etc. are to be transmitted in addition to set-point and actual values, the mass flow controllers can communicate via digital interfaces, e.g. PROFINET, EtherNet/IP, PROFIBUS DP, Modbus TCP, EtherCAT, CANopen or RS485. Gateways and Bürkert’s proprietary büS network also allow the integration of other protocols - for gas-control functions that are fully compatible with Industry 4.0. Plug-and-play complete solutions, which can easily be connected to the higher-level controller for precise dosing and logging of gas volumes, can be realised with digital as well as analogue interfaces. The MFC assemblies and complete control cabinets are tailored to the application requirements. The entire fluid control layout is factory-tested, ensuring that installation and start-up can be completed easily and quickly on site.
Simple configuration, parameterisation and diagnostics
In all automated gas-control solutions, the “Communicator” software simplifies the configuration, parameterisation and diagnostics tasks. This practical EDIP tool (Efficient Device Integration Platform) is suitable for analogue and digital devices. It gives the user a complete overview of all cyclical process values as well as all acyclic diagnostic data. Device configurations can be backed up and restored and the integrated, graphical programming environment makes it possible to create control functions for decentralised sub-systems. Connections to a PC can also be established on the fly using a USB-CAN adapter.