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AUMA launches high-performance Master Station

Added - 26.02.2020

AUMA has launched its new SIMA² Master Station, providing high-performance actuator control and supervision via open fieldbus standards. By optimising communications between field devices and host system, the SIMA² Master Station simplifies all aspects of configuring, controlling and managing actuators and other field devices over the plant’s life cycle. While suitable for any type or size of plant, across all industry sectors, SIMA² Master Station is particularly beneficial for extensive sites with large numbers of actuators, such as tank farms and refineries.

One SIMA² Master Station can manage up to 988 actuators in four independent networks, arranged as loop or line topologies. Total cable length without external repeaters can be up to 296 km per network.

SIMA² exclusively uses standardised, proven fieldbus protocols to ensure high-speed and reliable communication as well as long-term security of investment. The system supports Modbus RTU and Modbus TCP/IP to communicate with the host, linking to the actuators via either Modbus RTU or Profibus DP. Cycle times are extremely short, enhancing process efficiency.

Integral Ethernet and OPC UA interfaces facilitate data exchange, ensuring future-proofing for IIoT applications.

Multiple redundancy options maximise plant availability. Modbus RTU loop topology with built-in redundancy ensures communication even in the event of a cable break, for instance, while hot-standby architecture provides redundancy at system level.

Communication parameters can be easily set, and fieldbus networks configured, commissioned and tested, directly from the SIMA² Master Station, speeding up commissioning. During normal plant operation, SIMA² coordinates all actuator commands and feedback signals, reducing host communications to an absolute minimum. Comprehensive diagnostic functions facilitate fault-finding and asset management.

Operating the SIMA² Master Station is intuitive and convenient, whether using the large integral multi-touchscreen or an external web browser. The compact and ergonomic design of the SIMA² Master Station minimises installation time and cost. Housing options include 19-inch rack mounting or turnkey solutions, within a control cabinet or for outdoor installation.

“Our new high-performance Master Station strengthens AUMA’s position especially on the oil and gas market”, says Sascha Loth, Product Manager at AUMA. “We have already supplied SIMA² to numerous reference projects worldwide, and it really is proving its performance. Our customers are enthusiastic about its ease of use and its extremely reliable and high-speed communication.”

To read more, click here for the product page on www.auma.com

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High-precision actuation for multiport valves

Added - 13.11.2019

AUMA offers a new high precision automation solution for multiport valves based on SAVEx electric actuators with adjustable motor speed. The actuators support up to 16 ports with a combination of short operating times and excellent precision, thanks to their variable speed motors. Positioning accuracy is better than 0.3°, making the actuators suitable for the most challenging applications in this market. Switch valves with lift plug design are also supported.

Multiport valves find application in the oil and gas industry in sampling systems for multiple wellheads. Fluids from each well in turn can be directed to a single sampling system, allowing operators to monitor current production in detail. The positioning accuracy required makes this a challenging application for actuators.

AUMA’s SAVEx variable-speed actuators are ideal for this task. For rapid switching, the actuator motor runs at high speed over most of its travel. Just before the valve plug reaches the target port position, however, the speed is considerably reduced. By virtually eliminating overrun, this allows extremely precise positioning.

Switch valves with lift plug design require an even more demanding actuation solution since two different movements have to be coordinated: before the plug can rotate to the desired outlet it has to be lifted from its seat. This requires a second actuator. AUMA’s clever and simple solution is to use two actuators in a master-slave configuration that appears to the DCS as a single actuator. The intelligent actuator controls handle the complete sequence of movements and the safety interlock.

AUMA has also expanded its list of communication protocols supporting multiport and switch valve functionality: Foundation Fieldbus is now also available, in addition to Profibus DP, Modbus RTU and Modbus TCP/IP

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Smart end position monitoring, even for manually operated valves

Added - 04.07.2019

AUMA offers a new sensor system for signalling valve end positions which can be mounted to the company’s GS .3 part-turn gearboxes. The new solution allows plant operators to monitor the position of manually operated valves, and hence to collect crucial valve position information from all the valves in their plants – not just from motor-operated valves, which mostly use the integral limit switching within the actuators to signal valve position. 

The new sensor system adds intelligence to valves at a time when collecting and processing data from smart field devices is at the core of a rising number of Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) applications in process automation.

The sensor system can also be used in combination with electric valve actuators when redundant valve end position feedback is required in addition to the actuator-embedded functionality. 

AUMA’s new sensor system uses inductive sensor elements which ensure contactless monitoring of the end position for 90° part-turn valves. In contrast to mechanical limit switches, AUMA’s electronic sensor system is wear-free and not subject to corrosion. It combines high switching accuracy with robustness.

GS .3 gearboxes can be ordered with the integral sensor system as of now. Thanks to its modular design, the sensor system can also be easily retrofitted to existing GS .3 gearboxes in the field. 

The sensor system is available in two versions: a cost-efficient basic version and a fully-sealed premium version with aluminium housing offering enhanced IP69K protection. The premium version is particularly suitable for outdoor installation. Both versions are also available with ATEX approval for use in potentially explosive atmospheres.

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AUMA actuators support Ethernet/IP

Added - 03.07.2019

AUMA actuators are now available with an Ethernet/IP interface as AUMA continues to invest in pioneering Industrial Ethernet communication. Ethernet/IP is the third Industrial Ethernet standard that AUMA supports, in addition to Profinet and Modbus TCP/IP.

Ethernet/IP offers superior connectivity and enhanced network flexibility. With bandwidths up to 100 Mbit/s, AUMA actuators with Ethernet/IP provide reliable and rapid exchange of both cyclic process data and acyclic diagnostic data from the actuators.

49 AUMA actuators with Ethernet/IP communications are already proving their performance in the Santan Vista water treatment plant near Phoenix, Arizona. The SA multi-turn and SQ part-turn actuators with AC intelligent controls were supplied as part of an expansion project. Commissioning of the actuators was completed in April 2018. The expansion doubles the plant’s capacity to 48 million gallons (180 000 cubic metres) per day, catering for rising demand in this rapidly growing metropolitan area.

Ethernet/IP communications was specified in the tender for the project. AUMA was the only actuator manufacturer in the bid who met this requirement.

“Integrating the actuators into the Ethernet/IP system proved to be easy and straightforward,” says Lido Flores, Regional Sales Manager at AUMA Actuators, Inc., USA. “Many of our customers already use Ethernet/IP for their sensors and meter devices. We are very happy to now also provide electric actuators that use this future-proof technology.”

For more information, please refer to;

https://www.auma.com/en/products/communication-systems/industrial-ethernet/

Caption: AUMA electric actuators at the Santan Vista treatment plant use Ethernet/IP Industrial Ethernet for reliable and rapid communication.

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