Bürkert Fluid Control Systems has developed a new system for performing five high-priority monitoring and analysis tasks for water processing. Using smart Sensor Cubes, the new Online Analysis System Type 8905 can be used to monitor and control pH, chlorine, conductivity, oxidation reduction potential (ORP) and turbidity from one compact unit. Settings and status can be accessed via a 7” touch screen display, while USB, Ethernet and fieldbus connectivity offer easy integration and flexible communications options.
The combination of essential parameters that must be measured, analysed and recorded during water processing tasks can make for complicated control issues when using generalist automation equipment. Bürkert understands these requirements, whether the task is to produce drinking water, or supply horticultural and industrial applications.
This understanding has led to the development of a number of innovative process valve and control systems for the water sector which share Burkert’s efficient device integration platform (EDIP); this concept allows a level of flexibility by offering modularity in the hardware as well as in the software of the system. The new Online Analysis System Type 8905 shares this flexibility with its innovative Sensor Cubes which can be plugged directly into the main unit without the need for further wiring, I/O or programming integration. This not only speeds-up installation but can improve process performance, reduce downtime and cut overall costs.
Designed as a multi-channel, multi-function unit, the Type 8905 has the capacity to monitor up to five parameters within one housed unit while also providing the connectivity options for USB, LAN and fieldbus. The compact unit is designed in two sections; the top half contains the electronic control part of the design and includes the 7” touch screen display as well as the comms modules. These modules allow for further expansion of the unit as well as additional communication facilities.
The lower half of the unit contains the ‘Sensor Cubes’ which are plugged directly into the controller’s backplane which connects the sensors to the power supply, internal serial bus and fluidic connections. Each cube, irrespective of its capabilities, has the same dimensions and connections and can be plugged in, or removed, from the unit while it is operational, thus providing a hot-swap facility.
Currently there are five sensor cubes available which can measure pH, ORP, conductivity, free chlorine and turbidity. The design of this system allows the customer to start with an initial set of parameters under analysis that can be added to at any point without affecting the existing system. When a new sensor cube is plugged into a free slot, it registers with the system and makes its features available to all of the other modules present in the system.
Each sensor cube contains all the required data for operating the menus, configurations and its specific functions, all of which has been made possible through the use of Micro-Electro-Mechanical Systems or MEMS that has allowed the necessary sensing systems to be miniaturised. This means that each cube is a self-contained analysing module which can be added to an existing system at any point, allowing a water treatment facility to expand it capabilities as required with minimal cost and time implications.
The complete system is designed to provide all of the necessary analysis data as well as the ability to act as a data logger and provide the necessary evidence that the required standards are being maintained.
For applications where multiple water flows need to be analysed, it is already possible to link up to 30 analysis Sensor Cubes and combine their operational controls to a single touch-screen display. In the future, Bürkert will be developing additional analysis cubes to measure other parameters as well as increasing the expansion capabilities.