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Pepperl+Fuchs Blog

Robert Schosker

Recent Posts

How to Connect a NAMUR Sensor to a Switch Amplifier

Posted by Robert Schosker on Thu, Feb 26, 2015

NAMUR sensors are used in hazardous locations, and can provide both explosion hazard and personal safety protection. NAMUR sensors and switch isolators are highly reliable and have proven-in-use characteristics, making them a perfect choice for safety-related applications when connected to suitable control circuits.

Most devices are independently rated with Probability of Failure on Demand (PFD) and Safe Failure Fractions (SFF) that enable them to be used in functional safety areas up to SIL2 or SIL3. In this blog, Product Manager Robert Schosker talks about how to connect a NAMUR sensor to switch amplifier KFA5-SR2-Ex2.W, and then tests to ensure proper operation.

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Topics: Inductive Sensors, Troubleshooting, Intrinsic Safety Barriers

Thinking Outside the Box with Intrinsic Safety

Posted by Robert Schosker on Thu, Sep 04, 2014

Have you or are you still thinking about taking that leap of faith to intrinsic safety? With current and voltage limited to levels below that which can cause an ignition, a 50% safety factor even under fault conditions, and the ability to wire in accordance with general purpose wiring methods, there shouldn’t be another thought. But wait. What about my field device?


In the article 'Choosing Your Intrinsic Safety Device',  by Aaron Hand, Executive Editor, Automation World, find out what you need to know about the other half of the intrinsic safety equation.

If, after reading this article, intrinsic safety sounds like something you would be interested in learning more about, we're here to help. What questions do you have?

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Topics: Intrinsic Safety

4 Key Elements of WirelessHART

Posted by Robert Schosker on Wed, Jul 23, 2014

What makes up WirelessHART? There are four key elements to be aware of:

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Topics: HART

Spiff Up Your Cubicle with our Hazardous Locations Wall Chart

Posted by Robert Schosker on Wed, Jun 25, 2014

Tired of so many different hazardous location wall charts lining your office walls? One for NEC, then one for ATEX, then another one for IECEx, and yet still another for SIL. Just like with most business, it helps when you can one-stop shop; find everything you need at a single supplier. Shouldn’t getting the information you want about hazardous locations be the same?

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Topics: Terminology, Intrinsic Safety

Moving from Wired HART Communication to WirelessHART

Posted by Robert Schosker on Thu, Mar 27, 2014

In a previous blog post, "General Characteristics of HART Communication", I went over the important aspects of HART, which is a wired communication technology that has been in existence since the 1980s. Naturally, technology does progress, and just like telephones moving from land lines to wireless, wired HART is moving to WirelessHART. Let's explore what you should know about WirelessHART, and what improvements it can offer to your plant communication.

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Topics: HART

General Characteristics of HART Communication

Posted by Robert Schosker on Thu, Mar 06, 2014

Highway Addressable Remote Transducer

HART is a digital signal that rides on a standard 4 mA ... 20 mA process control loop. In the field of process automation, the 4 mA ... 20 mA loop is very steady. You may hear of it being referred to as “quasi-static,” as it doesn't change much. Field devices like mass flow, temperature, pressure transmitters, or valve positioners use this 4 mA ... 20 mA signal. HART information is extra information that you get back from your field instruments.
Historically, HART communication uses the BELL 202 telephone communication standard, which telephone land lines still use today. This standard was introduced in the early 1980s and uses Frequency Shift Keying (FSK) technology. FSK simply means that the information is keyed or coded into the frequency, which is how the data communicates back and forth. HART layers its digital communication signals on top of the 4 mA ... 20 mA control signal.

A drawback based on today's standards is the speed of HART communication, which is rather slow. HART is limited to 1200 bits/second and ranges from 1200 Hz to 2200 Hz. Information (1, 0) is represented by different frequencies. The HART signal creates 0s and 1s. A logic 1 is represented by 1200 Hz. A logic 0 is represented by 2200 Hz. On the plus side, HART communication doesn't interrupt the 4 mA ... 20 mA signal, and it allows a host application (master) to get up to three digital updates per second from a field device.

Back in the day when this technology was introduced, 1200 baud was screaming fast, but now it is painfully slow and just doesn't measure up to our expectations. As an example, a LAN (Local Area Network), in common use today, perks along at 100 Mbits/second. That's 1000 times faster than the BELL 202!

If the communication speeds are so slow, why do we continue to use HART communication for field instruments and devices? Well, the 4 mA ... 20 mA control signals with FSK are reliable and have been in use for decades. There is a large installed base of devices. By our estimates, there are at least 30 million HART-compatible field devices in use worldwide.  

Also, the HART information is easily extracted without interfering with the 4 mA … 20 mA signal used by the host system. Host systems are most commonly a distributed control system (DCS), programmable logic controller (PLC), asset management system, safety system, or a handheld device. HART enables two-way field communication to take place and makes it possible for additional information beyond the normal process variable to be communicated to or from a smart field instrument.

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Topics: HART

Are IS Barriers Required for Instrumentation Rated Class I, Div. 2?

Posted by Robert Schosker on Fri, Jan 24, 2014

A few weeks back, an interesting question came in from a customer regarding an article that I wrote about intrinsic safety. Here's a link to the article,  "Intrinsic Safety 101 - Hazardous Locations."

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Topics: Ask an Expert, Intrinsic Safety Barriers, Intrinsic Safety

WirelessHART Gateway and Adapter: Wireless Communication

Posted by Robert Schosker on Fri, Jun 21, 2013

A customer recently purchased our WirelessHART gateway and adapter. He successfully programmed the gateway and adapter with the Network ID and Join key and then joined the adapter to the WirelessHART network. The adapter was installed in a remote location.

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Topics: HART, Software

4 Fun Facts about Intrinsic Safety (IS)

Posted by Robert Schosker on Fri, May 10, 2013

During the years I have worked at Pepperl+Fuchs, I have been asked a lot of questions regarding the implementation of intrinsic safety, or IS for short. As they say, “Knowing is half the battle,” so I decided to share a few of those questions and answers. 

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Topics: Intrinsic Safety Barriers, Intrinsic Safety

How Do I Connect a WirelessHART Adapter to a Pepperl+Fuchs Gateway?

Posted by Robert Schosker on Wed, Feb 20, 2013

Use PACTware software to program Wireless HART devices

Are you having trouble making the connection between Pepperl+Fuchs’ WirelessHART adapter and gateway? This post will take you step by step through the process of programming a Pepperl+Fuchs WHA-ADP (ADP) battery-powered adapter to connect to our WirelessHART gateway WHA-GW (GW) and PACTware 4.x (PW).

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Topics: HART, Troubleshooting, Ask an Expert

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