By Mary Del
Intertec has launched an explosion-proof smart programmable controller for precision temperature regulation of process instrumentation and analyser enclosures in hazardous environments. Suitable for use with any explosion-proof electric heater from Intertec’s range of compatible heaters, the new generation Smart Controller 2.0 facilitates fieldbus networking, extensive monitoring and diagnostic routines, programmable temperature ramping, data logging, and temperature monitoring with user-definable limits. The controller has a switching capacity of up to 10 amps, enabling it to be used with explosion-proof heaters with power ratings as high as 2,300 watts, depending on the ambient and required enclosure/equipment temperatures and the heater supply voltage. The new digital PID (proportional-integral-derivative) controller provides a very high level of accuracy and functionality, according to the company. Operating as a remote terminal unit (RTU), it uses the Modbus RTU communications protocol over an RS485 serial network to facilitate easy integration with existing process control systems. As many as 31 controllers can be set up and monitored in one branch of a network. Intertec has created a new suite of PC software and LabView VI drivers that enable a wide set of attributes to be programmed, including the controller’s P and I terms, a user-defined ramp for temperature increase against time, and the heater’s temperature limit. The software also features a data logging function, which provides a graphical record of temperature values retrieved over time from each controller.