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ABB, Zurich, Switzerland, has  incorporated power supply through Ethernet connectivity on board the latest editions of its ProcessMaster electromagnetic flowmeter (Fig. 1, shown above), and CoriolisMaster mass flowmeter (Fig. 2, shown below). According to the company, the introduction of these first-of-their-kind products is opening a new chapter in instrumentation and industrial communication.

Power over Ethernet (PoE) is said to provide several benefits for process engineers, as it omits the need for a separate DC power infrastructure, thus providing power and communications through the same cable. This brings new agility as flowmeters can be installed wherever needed. In addition, ABB 4-wire Ethernet combines classic outputs with future communication protocols. Offering a modular design allows the combination of both worlds and ensures that devices are future-proof, increasing the longevity of the flowmeters.

Flowmeters with Ethernet connectivity also increase simplicity, flexibility, and reliability in process-automation operations, while enhancing real-time visibility of data. Previously-hidden data in field devices, such as measurement values on density, conductivity, or concentration of the medium, can be unlocked. ABB notes this capability can help users identify redundant measurement points in their plants to achieve savings along the way.

 

Fig. 2. ABB CoriolisMaster mass flowmeter.

 

An integrated secure web server based on the ABB’s Ability Cyber Security framework ensures robust and secure operations that offer instrumentation engineers support during commissioning and troubleshooting. It also provides access to configuration, diagnostics, and measurement data through a built-in QR code. This allows verification of all parts of the flowmeter and provides insights into its operating condition with automatically generated reports.

Combining 4..20 mA or digital outputs with new 1- or 2-port Ethernet makes classic instrumentation truly future-proof, with speeds of up to 100Mbit/s. These new flowmeters use various Ethernet based communication protocols, such as simple Modbus TCP or high performance EtherNet/IP. This prepares them for IT/OT convergence, cloud connectivity and the requirements needed for secure and encrypted communication both today and tomorrow.

NOTE: Ethernet connectivity for the electromagnetic flowmeter ProcessMaster is currently available in North America only. It will be released globally later in 2021.

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