WO2003023619A1 - Method and apparatus for sensing and transmitting process parameters - Google Patents

Method and apparatus for sensing and transmitting process parameters Download PDF

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Publication number
WO2003023619A1
WO2003023619A1 PCT/US2002/028535 US0228535W WO03023619A1 WO 2003023619 A1 WO2003023619 A1 WO 2003023619A1 US 0228535 W US0228535 W US 0228535W WO 03023619 A1 WO03023619 A1 WO 03023619A1
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WO
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Prior art keywords
sensor
transmitter
measurement
sensing
data
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PCT/US2002/028535
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French (fr)
Inventor
Lois Fleit
Ivan Tapia Cifuentes
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Andean Mining Technologies S.A.
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    • GPHYSICS
    • G01MEASURING; TESTING
    • G01DMEASURING NOT SPECIALLY ADAPTED FOR A SPECIFIC VARIABLE; ARRANGEMENTS FOR MEASURING TWO OR MORE VARIABLES NOT COVERED IN A SINGLE OTHER SUBCLASS; TARIFF METERING APPARATUS; MEASURING OR TESTING NOT OTHERWISE PROVIDED FOR
    • G01D3/00Indicating or recording apparatus with provision for the special purposes referred to in the subgroups
    • G01D3/028Indicating or recording apparatus with provision for the special purposes referred to in the subgroups mitigating undesired influences, e.g. temperature, pressure
    • G01D3/036Indicating or recording apparatus with provision for the special purposes referred to in the subgroups mitigating undesired influences, e.g. temperature, pressure on measuring arrangements themselves
    • G01D3/0365Indicating or recording apparatus with provision for the special purposes referred to in the subgroups mitigating undesired influences, e.g. temperature, pressure on measuring arrangements themselves the undesired influence being measured using a separate sensor, which produces an influence related signal

Abstract

Method and apparatus for sensing and transmitting process parameters using a sensor device (1) at a preselected location in a process that contains a first sensor (3) for measuring a parameter of the process, such as, temperature, pressure, flow, level, pH, ORP, dissolved oxygen, current, voltage, humidity; a second sensor (4) for sensing the temperature of the environment at the preselected location a storage (7) for data correlated to the operating characteristics of the first sensor (3); and a preamplifier and processor (5) to convert to a digital signal; and a transmitter device (12) at the preselected location including a processor (15) to conform the measurement to a standardized measurement range based on the digital signal, data related to the temperature of the environment and data indicative of the operating characteristics of the sensor; and a transmitter (20) for transmitting to a remote location the measurement together with data that distinguishes the kind of sensor (1) and its characteristics.

Description

METHOD AND APPARATUS FOR SENSING AND TRANSMITTING PROCESS

PARAMETERS

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

Field of the Invention

The present invention relates to a method and apparatus for sensing and transmitting process parameters, and more particularly to a novel transmitter device that enables the measurement of different variables of a process to perform better instrumentation control, and to female and male connectors for use with sensors and transmitters.

Prior Art

Currently in the industrial instrumentation field, PCI (Process and Control Instruments) devices are known and used to measure variables of a process, such as, temperature, pressure, flow, level, pH, ORP, dissolved oxygen, current, voltage, humidity, etc. These variables are manifested by the instrumentation (sensors) in a variety of ways and measurements, such as, e.g., millivolts, ohms (resistance), volts, frequency, and the like. The signals generated by the sensors are processed by an element called a transmitter, transducer, controller or electronic sensor. The processing converts the sensed signals into a conventional and standardized format such as a digital or an analogous format to be transmitted over distance to a remote or central station. Alternatively, a liquid crystal display or the like can be used to obtain information as a basis for exerting control at the transmitter location by input of a discreet signal or drive.

The transmitters are fabricated for a particular application and are integrated with a particular sensor and/or electronic processing. The existent transmitters are two kinds: a. according to their supply: (1) supplied by a DC voltage; in this case, the output signal is transmitted by the same supply with a current consumption of 4 to20 mA format or a digital modulation in accordance to a protocol such as Hart, Profibus, Fieldbus, MODBUS or the like; (2) supplied by an AC voltage; in this case, the transmitter sends the signal in the same way as described, but independently of the supply, b. - according to their programming; the programming, calibration and setting of the parameters of these transmitters is done by means of a keyboard included in the device, through a communication door or through the output cables of the 4-20mA or digital signal, if the equipment has a protocol as the ones mentioned formerly, such as Hart, Fieldbus, Profibus or similar.

There are also transmitters that have programming options as described, in which adjustment is done in an analog way and that generate an analog output proportional to the carried-out measurement.

The current known transmitters, are units fabricated as an indivisible group and are made for a specific variable. Meaning that a transmitter is only useful to measure a preselected variable such as, temperature. To measure another variable, such as other flow, a transmitter specifically made for this purpose is required. This is true for each variable to be measured; each sensor is connected to a transmitter that only works with that particular kind of sensor. Therefore, to measure five different variables, such as, temperature, pressure, level, pH and a fifth variable, five different transmitters are used, each transmitter designed to work only with the sensor for a specific variable. Known transmitters do not have the capacity to recognize different sensors by themselves.

SUMMARY OF INVENTION

The present invention enables the measurement of different variables, such as temperature, pressure, flow, pH, level, dissolved oxygen, current, voltage, humidity, etc., using a group of sensors specific to the measurement being made and specially designed to convert the sensed signal to be connected to a single unique transmitter for processing the sensor signal to derive the information content thereof, show or display the information content locally, and/or transmit to a remote station the information content in any standard format as used in the PCI (Process and Control Instrumentation) field.

The various types of measuring sensors are modified to self-contain information concerning the sensor characteristics, and a unique circuit that pre-amplifies and/or converts the sensed signals to predetermined forms and levels, such as a mV signal, variable Resistance and frequency signals, for acquisition and processing in a microprocessor. This unique circuit includes a store in the form of a microprocessor or non-volatile memory containing information regarding sensor characteristics, such as ranges, curves, necessary compensations, required menu for a demonstration in an interface operation, tag, digital direction, fabrication data, etc. The unique circuit has an first input for the sensed signal of the parameter being measured and a second input for temperature, for compensation effects or the like as a second variable to display, transmit or process.

Each sensor and its associated unique circuit can be connected to a transmitter that acquires (a) the pre-amplified or pre-processed signals and (b) the information, in digital form, that characterizes the sensor, without the intervention of an operator. The instrument, in this respect is fully capable of functioning by itself. However, in some circumstances, the action of an operator may be desirable or required to make adjustment of parameters in a secondary form.

The transmitter is designed with a circuit that enables the generation of a corresponding outlet signal of 4-20 mA, proportional to the measured signal. Since the transmitter is measuring a principal sensor and the operating temperature, this generated 4-20mA signal can be assigned to one of two variables by the user, by an available key-board and the microprocessor contained in the transmitter. The transmitter also can be configured in a simplified form, omitting the use of the outlet components 4-20mA and the graphic interface, key-board and display, using instead a communication line to transmit to a remote station. For this purpose, the Internet can be used or a network communications protocol as is known in the art. Also, the transmitter can be interconnected, with its microprocessor and graphic interface, with any network or communication channel as known in the market whereby a net of sensors or devices of control are interconnected. For example, such as, communication networks as Fieldbus, Profibus, Device net, Modbus, Hart, can be used. The the various sensors used in process control can be associated, according to this invention, interconnected in a net, being of two or more wires or wireless, using digital or analog transmission with or without signal modulation (amplitude, pulse width, etc.).

Due to the fact that the circuit of the sensor has an incorporated microprocessor and non-volatile memory, a serial bus communication is established with the transmitter. Also, it is possible to connect the sensor or transmitter to a personal computer suitably configured with an appropriate software to receive, store and read the identification or characteristic data stored in the sensor.

For connecting the sensor with the transmitter, the present invention provides a novel connector that makes a hermetic connection and yet is capable of quick connection and disconnection, and is highly resistant to vibrations, strokes and high temperatures.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

Other and further object and advantages of the present invention will become more readily apparent from the following detailed description of a preferred embodiment of the invention when taken in conjunction with the appended drawings in which:

FIG. 1 is a block diagram of the transmitter and a sensor according to the present invention;

FIG. 2 is a schematic diagram showing the novel sensor arrangement according to the present invention;

FIG.3 is a is a schematic diagram showing the amplification circuit and signal treatment. FIG.4, 5 and 6 are cross sectional views of different socket connector arrangements;

FIG.7, 8, 9 and 10 are cross sectional views of different plug connector arrangements;

FIG.11 is a cross sectional view of a connection of the plug thread kind;

FIG.12 is a cross sectional view of a connection of the socket thread kind;

FIG.13 is a cross sectional view of a connection that is part of a welded structure or fabricated from a device of which it is a part connection to another;

FIG.14 is a cross sectional view of a connection to be welded;

FIG.15 is a cross sectional view of a connection with plug thread;

FIG.16 is a cross sectional view of a structural connection that is part of the piece of the equipment it belongs to;

FIG.17 is a cross sectional view of a connection of the socket thread kind;

FIG. 18 is a side view of the transmitter connected to a sensor through an extension cable;

FIG. 19 is a side view of the transmitter connected directly to a sensor;

FIG. 20 is a schematic view of a universal sensor connected to a PC with configuration software;

FIG. 21 is an exploded view of a sensor according to the invention;

FIG. 22 is a schematic view of the universal sensor;

FIGS. 23 to 28 are representational views of the display of the transmitter showing readouts associated with the auto-identification and diagnostics of a connected sensor;

FIGS. 29 to 37 are representational views of the display of the transmitter showing readouts associated with the menu displays of a universal sensor;

FIG. 38 is a block diagram illustrating the state descriptions;

FIG. 39 is a flow chart (state diagram) showing the initialization;

FIG. 40 is a flow chart (state diagram) showing operational mode 1 ; and

FIG. 41 is a flow chart (state diagram) showing operational mode 2.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS

Referring now to the drawings, the present invention will be described with reference to the several figures of the drawings. As shown in Fig. 1 , the transmitter 12 and an associated sensor 1 are portrayed in block diagram. The combination of a sensor 1 and transmitter 12 represent a complete assembly for an in situ device. The transmitter 12 and the sensor 1 are independent units that are interconnected to work as a whole and to do the minimal function of the known transmitters.

According to Figure 1 , the transmitter sensor 1 is made of a sensor element 3, which consists of any one of the known sensors or variables that is to be measured. Since sensor element 3 can be one of many kinds of sensors, it will be referred to hereinafter as x sensor. Sensor 3 can be selected from that group of sensors that will measure any desired parameter, such as for example, pressure, temperature or thermocouple, temperature times variable resistance, pH, dissolved oxygen, ORP, level, frequency, temperature by infrared measurement or any other variable. The object of the invention to effect such measurement and then for sensor 1 to generate directly or indirectly a signal of mV, V, variable resistance or frequency corresponding in value to the measured parameter.

Within the sensor 1 is a the temperature sensor 4, consisting of a resistive kind sensor or thermocouple (that generates mV or VDC) that senses temperature of the ambient regarding the measurement of the principal variable or parameter of interest, to enable compensation of the effects of temperature with respect to the electronic circuit involved in measurement, characterization or linearization of the measured signal during the processing or pre-processing stage in sensor 1 or transmitter 12.

An electronic circuit 5 of the sensor 1, receives the measured signal and pre-processes or pre-treats in a pre-treatment circuit 6 that receives the signals of the sensor element 3 and of temperature sensor 4, and functions to generate an amplified and standardized signal with the purpose of supplying to the transmitter 12 only one kind of electric and voltage signal for all kinds of sensor elements 3 that can be connected to the transmitter 12.

The sensor 1 further contains an identification circuit 7, consisting of an electronic circuit, that stores all the information of the sensor element 3 and temperature sensor 4. This circuit is a microprocessor or chip provided with a non-volatile memory that stores data regarding the sensor elements, such as, electric, calibration and fabrication characteristics and other relevant data relating to the sensors, with the function of sending the information contained to transmitter 12, when required by the operation or function of the transmitter 12.

A sensor connector 8, consisting of a hermetic fast connector that has sets of pins 10 through which it is possible to transmit pre-treated and standardized information in respect of a voltage output for the x sensor element 3 and the temperature sensor 4, the communication with the identification circuit 7 and power supply for the respective circuits. Using the sets of pins 10, it is also possible to create or make bridges to codify, in a binary way, the identification of the sensor 1 , if or when the use of the pins for transmission of other data is not required.

This connector 8 is compatible with connector 11 of the transmitter 12, as will be explained in more detail hereinafter.

The transmitter 12 consists of an electronic device that processes the information coming from the sensor 1. To this end, the transmitter 12 is made of or contains the following components and/or functions:

a) A Connector of the Transmitter that consists of a hermetic sealed connector 13, that has sets of pins 10 that mate or interconnect with the sets of pins 10 of the connector 8. The sets of pins 10 enable the transmission of the pre-treated and standardized information of the voltage for the x sensor 3 and the temperature sensor 4, the communication with the electronic identification circuit 7, of the sensor 1, as well as to provide a transmission path for the respective circuits of the sensor 1 and the transmitter 12. As noted, this connector 11 is compatible with the connector 8 of the sensor 1. b) A signal amplification and treatment circuit 14 that has the function and purpose of amplifying the signal coming from the sensor 1 , to be acquired and processed by a microprocessor 15 through an ADC (analog to digital converter) for programming in the microprocessor15. The circuit 14 has an adjustable gain, which enables measuring any level of voltage, so it is possible to utilize the present invention with any kind of sensor 1 fabricated according to the present invention, by fixing such level in the pre-treatment circuit 6 in such sensor 1. The amplified signals correspond to those indicated as temperature sensor 4 and x sensor 3 in the figures of the drawing.

c) Identification circuit 16 comprises a circuit that enables detection and capture of the information of the identification circuit 7 of the sensor 1 , to enable the transmitter 12 to establish the kind of sensor 1 that is connected, its ranges and specifications. This information will enable the transmitter 12 to set the necessary configuration data in the transmitter 12 to assure its proper interpretation of the sensed signals and the proper transmission to a remote location.

d) A memory circuit 17 that consists of a non- volatile memory circuit (that may be part of the microprocessor 15 or a separate connected circuit) that enables storing of the information of identification of sensors or appropriate configuration of the transmitter 12.

e) A circuit of user interface (Keyboard) 19 - this enables a user to interact with the equipment to enter configuration information or obtain information through a graphic interface or display 18 forming part of the transmitter 12.

f) A processing circuit that enables the processing of the information, acquisition of the variables or measured signals, already amplified, the management of the graphic interface, user interface 19, the acknowledgment or identification of the sensor 1 through the data sent to it through its identification circuit and the generation of an electric output that represents in an analog or digital way the measured variable(s). All this is done according to a programmed logic, which also includes the existence or not of the sensor 1 of temperature sensor 4 for compensation, communication protocols, ranges, measurement units, linearization curves among others. Essentially, this is accomplished by or with the aid of the microprocessor 15 together with appropriate programming that will be apparent to one skilled in the art of programming from a knowledge of the component parts and constitution of the invention and the functions to be performed and as described herein. Block 17 in Figure 1 is a memory for the microprocessor 15.

h) Digital way in/out and/or instrumentation signal 20 - This circuit enables, with modulated information coming from the processing circuit or processor 15, modulation and regulation of a normalized output, such as 4-20mA, a digital output such as Hart, Profibus, Fieldbus or other similar protocols. The represented information is appropriately formatted to contain information about the measured signal (process parameter), compensation temperature signal, and/or any other aspect of the configuration or equipment operational data.

As shown in Figure 1 , the blocks 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19 and 20, correspond to the electronic circuit of the transmitter 12. According to Figure 1 showing the block diagram, the transmitter circuits mentioned enable a quick-connect and quick-disconnect, and a hermetic connection of the sensor 1 with the transmitter 12.

The pre-treatment circuit 6 of the sensor 1 enables conversion or reconstitution of all the various signals generated in the basic sensors to a unique and standard voltage level. This enables production of all the kinds of sensors 1 that are required, in a standardized output format and fully compatible with the transmitter 12. At the same time, the transmitter 12 can read out or obtain the digital information stored in the sensor identification circuit 7, and thereby be able to process the received information intelligently to output a result signal that is correlated with the precise measured sensed signal.

The transmitter 12 and its processing capacity, graphic performance and electric normalized outputs, with the characteristics as given in the preceding description, can be constituted as a single unique transmitter, suitable for use and connection with all the various sensors 1 , and is provided with a capacity for identifying and auto configuring, without the intervention of a human.

Referring now more particularly, the sensor 1 circuitry is shown in Figure 2. The components of the sensor 1 are known circuits or chips available in the market and are combined as shown and described according to the present this invention capable of functioning and processing a the wide range of signals.

As shown in Figure 2, the input connectors of the CSB sensor element (22), enable connection through Vinf, RTD1A, VIN-, VIN+, VCC and GND lines, any kind of existing signal such as mV, V, variable resistance and frequency. These connections enable connection of a sensor with the sensed signal to be measured and a temperature signal to be generated to compensate or characterize the measurement.

The pre-treatment circuit 6, is constituted by the Vinf input line for a frequency sensor of the CSB connector, which is connected to the U4:D operational circuit that pre- processes a frequency signal to supply a digital train of pulses by means of a P signal of the U4:D circuit to the J1 output connector (also P line). This signal is monitored (measured) by the transmitter 12 for frequency signals.

The VIN+ and VIN- lines of the CSB connector enable connection of a sensor 1 that supplies a mV or Vdc signal, in a natural or normal way, or previous excitement with a VCC and GND supply, available in the same CSB connector. The VIN+ and VIN- signal is amplified and processed in the U4:B circuit to supply the -CH1 and +CH0 signal, that connects to the connector of the CSB sensor, to be read by the transmitter (12) in a standard signal level and that can be fixed for all the sensors equally, accomplishing uniformity. In case it is necessary to adapt the input levels of the VIN+ and VIN- signal, the U4 circuit is provided for that purpose, with the possibility to modify the OFF SET of the U4:B circuit. For the measurement of resistive sensors and/or the temperature in the case of a second measurement, the RTD1A line in the CSB connector, in which the respective sensor 1 is connected, closes the circuit to ground in the GND line in the same CSB connector. The pre-processing of this signal is carried out by connecting the RTD1A line to the U2 circuit, that is a current supply that generates a voltage in the resistive sensor, proportional to the realized measurement. The voltage of interested being measured is entered by the same RTD1A line of the U3 and U6 circuit that amplifies the signal to generate an output voltage also standardized and of a similar level to the one accomplished in the case of the principal variable or -CH1 and -CH0. The output of the amplification circuit of the resistive sensor is TEMP of the U6 circuit, the line that reaches the CSB connector so that the transmitter 12 is also available for its acquisition.

In the identification circuit 7, the U1 circuit is provided, which is a microprocessor that by means of its COM line, also in the CSB connector, communicates with the transmitter 12 to send information of identification and operation parameters, such as the factors that must be applied for each sensor and that have been originated in fabrication for any correction at the time of their application, connection or maintenance.

The supply (VCC) for all the circuits and components of Figure 2, are supplied by the transmitter 12 and are present in the connector of the J1 and CSB sensor, as well as their respective return to GND ground.

The J1 connector of the sensor, enables the transmitter 12 to connect the VCC, GND ground, TEMP, CH1 , CHO, COM and P signals and identify the sensor 1 through the binary codification by the B1 and B2 lines of this J1 connector.

In Figure 2, the components and circuit elements consist of R1 Rn are resistances and U1 is a microprocessor that can be selected from the 16F84 family of microchips, however, it is preferred to use one selected from the MSP430 family of microchips as produced by Texas Instruments, Inc. of Dallas Texas. The components U2, U3, U4, U4.B, U4:D, U6, are operation amplifiers, preferably selected from the TLV2721 family as produced by Texas Instruments, Inc of Dallas, Texas. C1....Cnn are capacitors, J1 , CSB are connectors and Q1 is a transistor.

Referring now to Figure 3, the amplification and treatment circuit 14 of the signal of the transmitter 12, is carried out via the CH1 and CHO lines, corresponding to the x sensor 3, originated from the J3connector of the transmitter 12 and are connected to the amplification circuit 14, made of U5:A and U5:B to supply a IN+ and IN- signal to the U1 processor, in its IN+ and IN- lines. The U1 processor then converts this analog and amplified signal to a digital signal for its interpretation and digital processing.

The TEMP line, corresponding to the resistive sensor or temperature, coming from the J3 connector of the transmitter is connected to the integrated U4:A circuit, that amplifies the signal and supplies it by the TE line to the U1 processor, in the line also identified as RTE. The U1 processor then converts this analog and amplified signal in a digital signal for its interpretation and digital processing.

The U6 and U2 circuit corresponds to multiplexers that enable control of the gain of the amplification circuit adding resistances to this stage through the U1 microcontroller; the selection is done by the DB4, DB5, DB6 and COM lines of the microprocessor and is repeated in each one of the integrated U6 and U2 circuits. This circuit simply varies in a controlled way the resistance of circuit gain. The U6 circuit controls the gain of the CSB circuit, the U2 circuit controls the gain of the U5:A.

In the way described, it is also possible to program the gain of the measured sensor for mV or V, in a manner according to the present invention that enables connection of a variety of sensors of different kinds without the need of a pre-amplifying stage 6 in the sensor 1.

To determine the appropriate gain, the connected sensor needs to be identified through the identification circuit 7 of the sensor 1, or when the use of this circuit is not required, through the digital reading of the codification that identifies the kind of sensor 1. This is effected in a binary way via bridging pins 10 in the connector of the sensor. These sets of pins 10 are connected to the DOWN, ENTER, lines of the U1 and to the J3 connector of the transmitter 12. In this case the user interface 19 uses only the MENU and UP lines of the U1 are restricted, since the rest of the lines will be destined to the binary identification of the sensor 1. Two lines enable codification of 4 kinds of sensors.

According to Figure 3, the P signal present in the J3 connector of the transmitter 12, carries a frequency signal in the form of a pulse train that is entered directly to the U1 processor through the P line, present in the integrated circuit. The U1 processor acquires this information for its interpreting and digital processing.

For the identification circuit 16, the COM line of the J3 connector of the transmitter 12, is connected directly to the U1 processor, to receive from the sensor 1 the digital information of identification and operation parameters, as well as the factors that must be applied for each sensor, and that have been originated in fabrication for any correction at the time of their application, connection or maintenance.

As noted above, the memory circuit 17, is available to store digital information, and is present as the U3 circuit and it is connected to the processor 15 by the common line WP, SCL and SDA.

The user interface (Keyboard) (19), allows to connect a keyboard or user interface by means of the MENU, UP, DOWN, ENTER lines of the J1:1 connector and that connects to the U1 processor, which, once driven to any of these lines, it acquires the information for its interpretation and digital processing.

In the graphic interface 18, the V+, RS, RΛ/V, E, DB4, DB6, DB7, GND lines of the J1:1 connector, enable control of a graphic interface 18 of the LCD kind or similar. These lines come from the U1 controller and indicated with the same denomination.

The I/O, or digital way in/out and/or instrumentation signal 20, is a way in or out of the U1 processor, line PWM, that in this case generates a voltage applied over the integrated circuits U5:C, U5:D that in the Q1 circuit modulates a controlled current consumption and is proportional to the measured variable. This consumption is significantly bigger than the circuit consumption, which is why is finally possible to represent the sensor signal with the simple measurement of the current that the power supply gives to the circuit, since the consumption is distinctive when using low consumption components.

The circuit is supplied (V+) by an applied voltage to the LOOP+ and LOOP- in the J4 connector and is previously regulated by the U regulator to generate the V+ supply for both circuits, sensor 1 and transmitter 12. The LOOP+ and LOOP- connection is done by the J4 connector and at this point is where the proportional current is measured to correlate with the measured variable.

The transmitter connector J3 enables connection to the transmitter the V+ (supply), GND or ground, TEMP, CH1 , CHO, COM, P signals and the identification of the sensor through the binary connection by the DOWN, ENTER lines of the U1.

The electrical components for Figure 3, the transmitter 12, are as follows: R1 Rn are resistances, U1 is a microprocessor that may be of the design of the 14000 family of MICROCHIP, however, the preferred example is to use the MSP430149 family of chips as made by Texas Instruments, Inc. of Dallas, Texas. The U is a voltage regulator and one can use LP2050 of National Semiconductor, but preferred is MAX1615 of Maxim; the U6 is an analog multiplexer made by Philips, one of the 4053 family, although many companies manufacture the same family. The U4, U5:A, U5:B, U5:C, U5:D are operational amplifiers and preferred is the Texas Instruments, TLV2721 family. C1...Cnn are capacitors; J1 :1 , J3, J4 are connectors; and Q1 is a transistor (an NPN transistor); and Y1 is a crystal oscillator.

The sensor circuit 1 in Figurel , as noted, contains a microprocesor with a non-volatile memory. By the serial communication described and a PC software, information is stored in this memory concerning the sensor, e.g. Name or Tag, Digital Address, Curves, Temperature compensation, Type of sensor, Units, Range, Amplifier factors, Menu to display in the Transmitter, Factory settings, etc. When the sensor is connected to the transmitter, by the connectors 10, Figure 1 , the transmitter communicates with the sensor to obtain this information stored in the sensor and to store it in the non-volatile memory of the transmitter. Then the transmitter use the stored factors including the curves, Units, Range, etc to digitalize and process the signal . Note that the signal, provided by any of the sensors that can be connected to the transmitter, is pre-amplified to a single voltage range, so that the transmitter reads, acquires and digitizes only in one range of voltage. Since the transmitter is receiving all input signals with the same signal level, all the sensors appear to the transmitter to be similar, and this is why the transmitter needs to know the ID information of the sensor, in order to distinguish one sensor from another and to formulate the correct output signals.

The serial communication in the sensor is COM line in J1 connector or COM in U1 microprocessor, and in the Transmitter is COM in J3 connector or COM in U1 microprocessor. J1 and J3 are the physical connector. PC software directly connects the sensor to the serial port to program the parameters or ID. A user knowing the curves and parameters of the sensor as provided by the manufacturer can input.

As described, the sensor 1 includes an additional Temperature signal to compensate the main signal when it is necessary.

With respect to the analog communications, the information that the transmitter is sent is 4-20mA current, standard in the PCI field. In Figure 3, the microprocessor U1 provides a PWM signal to amplifier circuit U5:C , U5:D that have a current control to function in the microprocessor program, in this case the processed sensor signal. The microprocessor reads internally the current consumption of all the electronics of the sensor 1 and transmitter^. This power is connected via the connector J4, Figure 3, Loop+ and Loop-. An external device (computer, controller or other) reads this current, that is proportional to the signal processed. Digital Comunication. Serial communication is one type of communication with an external device. The transmitter circuit 12 is provided with a bus RS, RΛ/V,E, DB4, DB5, DB7 that allows connection to a board for Fiel Bus communication, a known communication protocol. Also, other types of digital signal transmission boards can be used. This type of communication enables sending, measurement, digital address, Units, Range, etc. Normally this type of communication is used in a network of sensors connected to a master device. This master may support several sensors because of they all have a different Digital Address (unique for each sensor). Such types of digital communications protocols include Hart, Fieldbus, Profibus, Devicenet, Modbus, etc.

The present invention comprises a transmitter and a sensor element that enables measurement of different variables, such as temperature, pressure, flow, level, pH, ORP, dissolved oxygen, current, voltage, humidity, etc., and includes novel sensor and transmitter mechanical connectors, that are characterized by a sensor 1 and transmitter 12 made of at least one x sensor 3, a temperature sensor 4 of the resistive or thermocouple kind. An electronic circuit 5 and a pre-treatment circuit 6) is provided that receives the x sensor signal 3 and of temperature 4. In order to generate a standardized and amplified signal a preprocessing circuit is provided together with an electronic identification circuit 7, which stores all the information of the temperature sensor 4 and x sensor 3. A hermetic connector 9 provided with pins 10 connects the sensor to the transmitter, and is made of at least one hermetic quick-connect connector. The transmitter connector 11 with pins 10 cooperates with the sensor connector to effect the connection. The transmitter includes an amplification circuit and signal treatment 14, which receives the signal originated from the sensor 1 , and acquires and processes this signal via a microprocessor 15 through an analog-to- digital converter contained in the microprocessor programming circuit 15. Circuit 14 has an adjustable gain. An identification circuit 16 derives information about the connected sensor and this is stored in a memory circuit 17 in a non-volatile manner. A user interface circuit (Keyboard) 19, which enables a user to interact with the equipment and set configurations is provided as is a graphic interface circuit 18 that enables the management of a graphic interface or display. The processing circuit 15 (microprocessor) enables the processing of the information, acquisition of the variables or measured signals, already amplified, the management of the graphic interface, user interface 19, the recognition or identification of the sensor 1 through the sent data by it through its identification circuit and the generation of an electric output that represents in an analog or digital way the measured variable(s); and a digital I/O (way in/out) and/or instrumentation signal 29. The output can be enabled for modulated information originated from he processing circuit or processor 15.

The invention further contemplates a transmitter and sensor element that are enabled to measure different variables, such as temperature, pressure, flow, level, pH, ORP, dissolved oxygen, current, voltage, humidity, etc., and mechanical sensor and transmitter connectors, as described characterized in that the pre-treatment circuit 6, is the Vinf input line for a frequency sensor of the CSB connector, which is connected to the U4:D operational circuit that pre-processes a frequency signal to supply a pulse digital train through the P signal of the U4:D circuit to the end connector J1 (also P line). This signal is measured by the transmitter 12 for frequency signals.

Also, a transmitter and sensor element that is enabled to measure different variables, such as temperature, pressure, flow, level, pH, ORP, dissolved oxygen, current, voltage, humidity, etc., and mechanical sensor and transmitter connectors, as described above characterized in that the VIN+ and VIN- lines of this CSB connector enables connection of one sensor 1 that supplies a mV or Vdc signal in a natural way or by previous excitement with a VCC and GND supply, available in the same CSB connector. This VIN+ and VIN- signal is amplified and processed in the U4:B circuit to supply the -CH1 and +CHO signal that is connected to the CSB sensor connector, to be read by the transmitter 12 in a standard signal level and that can be fixed equally to all the sensors, accomplishing uniformity.

Further, a transmitter and sensor element that is enabled to measure different variables, such as temperature, pressure, flow, level, pH, ORP, dissolved oxygen, current, voltage, humidity, etc., and mechanical sensor and transmitter connectors, according to the according to the previous description characterized in that the input levels of the VIN+ and VIN- signal can be adapted to the U4:B circuit, with which is possible to modify the OFF SET of the U4:B circuit.

In addition, a transmitter and sensor element that is enabled to measure different variables, such as temperature, pressure, flow, level, pH, ORP, dissolved oxygen, current, voltage, humidity, etc., and mechanical sensor and transmitter connectors, according to the preceding wherein for the measurement of the resistive sensors and/or the temperature in the case of a second measurement, the RTD1 A line in the CSB connector, in which the respective sensor 1 is connected, the circuit to ground in the GND line in the same CSB connector is closed.

Also, a transmitter and sensor element that is enabled to measure different variables, such as temperature, pressure, flow, level, pH, ORP, dissolved oxygen, current, voltage, humidity, etc., and mechanical sensor and transmitter connectors, according to the above wherein the processing of the signal is carried out by connecting the RTD1A line to the U2 circuit, which is a current supply, that generates a voltage in the resistive sensor, proportional to the realized measurement, the voltage of interest in measuring is entered by the same RTD1A line of the U3 and U6 circuit that amplifies the signal to generate an output voltage also standardized and of a level similar to the one accomplished in the case of the principal variable or -CH1 and -CHO. The output of the amplification circuit of the resistive sensor is TEMP of the U6 circuit, a line that reaches the CSB connector to be also available for its acquisition to the transmitter.

Still further, a transmitter and sensor element that is enabled to measure different variables, such as temperature, pressure, flow, level, pH, ORP, dissolved oxygen, current, voltage, humidity, etc., and mechanical sensor and transmitter connectors, according to the above wherein the identification circuit 2 presents the U1 circuit, which is a microprocessor by which its COM line, also in the CSB connector, communicates with the transmitter 12 to send the identification information and operation parameters, such as the factors that must be applied for each sensor and that have been originated and set in a factory for any correction at the time of its application, connection or maintenance.

Also, a transmitter and sensor element that enables measurement of different variables, such as temperature, pressure, flow, level, pH, ORP, dissolved oxygen, current, voltage, humidity, etc., and mechanical sensor and transmitter connectors, as described wherein the supply (VCC) to all the circuits and components, are supplied by the transmitter 12 and are present in the CSB and J1 connectors of the sensor, as well as its respective return or GND ground.

Still further, a transmitter and sensor element that is enabled to measure different variables, such as temperature, pressure, flow, level, pH, ORP, dissolved oxygen, current, voltage, humidity, etc., and mechanical sensor and transmitter connectors, according to the above wherein the amplification and treatment circuit 14 in the CH1 and CHO lines corresponding to the x sensor 3, originated in the J3 connector of the transmitter 12, are connected to the amplification circuit 14 composed of U5:A and U5:B to supply a IN+ and IN- signal to the U1 processor, in its IN+ and IN- lines, this U1 processor converts this analog and amplified signal to a digital signal for its digital processing and interpretation.

The present invention includes a transmitter and sensor element that are enabled to measure different variables, such as temperature, pressure, flow, level, pH, ORP, dissolved oxygen, current, voltage, humidity, etc., and mechanical sensor and transmitter connectors, as described wherein the TEMP line corresponding to the resistive or temperature sensor 4 originated from the J3connector of the transmitter is connected to the integrated U4:A circuit, which amplifies the signal and supplies it by the TE line to the U1 processor, in the line also identified as RTE. The U1 processor then converts this analog and amplified signal for its interpretation and digital processing. Additionally, a transmitter and sensor element that are enabled to measure different variables, such as temperature, pressure, flow, level, pH, ORP, dissolved oxygen, current, voltage, humidity, etc., and mechanical sensor and transmitter connectors, according to the foregoing wherein the sensor element 1 presents a U6 and a U2 circuit that correspond to multiplexers that allow control of the gain of the amplification circuit 14 adding resistances to this stage by means of the U1 micro-controller; the selection is realized by the DB4, DB5, DB6 and COM lines of the micro-processor and are repeated in each one of the integrated U6 and U2 circuits.

Still further, a transmitter and sensor element that are enabled to measure different variables, such as temperature, pressure, flow, level, pH, ORP, dissolved oxygen, current, voltage, humidity, etc., and mechanical sensor and transmitter connectors, according to the above wherein the memory circuit 17 is available to store digital information and corresponds to the U3 circuit and it connects with the processor 1 by the common line WP, SCL and SDA. -

The invention include a transmitter and sensor element that are enabled to measure different variables, such as temperature, pressure, flow, level, pH, ORP, dissolved oxygen, current, voltage, humidity, etc., and mechanical sensor and transmitter connectors, according to the foregoing wherein the user interface (Keyboard) 19 enables connection of one keyboard or user interface by means of the MENU, UP, DOWN, ENTER lines of the J1:1 connector and connects the U1 processor which, starting any of these lines, acquires the information for its interpretation and digital processing.

Further, a transmitter and sensor element that are enabled to measure different variables, such as temperature, pressure, flow, level, pH, ORP, dissolved oxygen, current, voltage, humidity, etc., and mechanical sensor and transmitter connectors, as set forth above wherein the graphic interface 18, the V+, RS, R/W, E, DB4, DB5, DB6, DB7, GND lines of the J1:1 connector enable control of a graphic interface 18 LCD kind or similar, such lines come from the U1 controller and correspond to those indicated with the same denomination.

The invention further comprises a transmitter and sensor element that are enabled to measure different variables, such as temperature, pressure, flow, level, pH, ORP, dissolved oxygen, current, voltage, humidity, etc., and mechanical sensor and transmitter connectors, according to the preceding wherein the digital way out/in and/or instrumentation signal 20, is a way in or out of the U1 processor, line PWM, which in this case generates a voltage applied over the integrated U5:C, U5:D circuits that in the Q1 circuit modulates a current use controlled and proportional to the measured variable.

Plug and socket connectors for the joint between the sensors and transmitters, wherein the socket connectors 24 and plugs 38 are provided with a pressing ring 23 and a socket-plug connector that is a piece which allows to join and fix the socket connector 24 with the plug connector 25 the plug and socket connectors present a flange 26 in the periphery of these socket connectors 24 and plugs 38. Also they have an O-ring 27 as a means of seal by sitting in the inferior face of the flange 26 of the socket connector with the superior face of the plug connector 25 where the connection thread begins 30 both interior and exterior. In the interior the socket 24 and plug 38 connectors there is a cavity 31 with seat for a base 32 that supports pins 10, the type of these pins 10 is the one that denominates the socket or plug connector 24, 25, 38 and 39; in the interior of the plug connector 25 and socket 39 there's a cavity 36 and 45 with a seat for a base 35 and 46.

Plug and socket connectors are provided for the joint between the sensors and transmitters, according to the above wherein the plug connectors 25 and sockets 39 are provided with exterior thread 30 and also inferior, to produce the connection, fixation and pressing with the socket connector 24 or plug, by means of the work between these socket-plug threads. Plug and socket connectors are provided for the joint between the sensors and transmitters, according to the foregoing wherein the connectors can preferably have a hole with or without a thread for a fixation pin 34 base pins 10, which avoids that the base 35 moves.

Plug and socket connectors are provided for the joint between the sensors and transmitters, according to the above wherein the connectors of the sensors 9 and the connectors of the transmitter 12 can have an opposite denomination according to the installation of the plug or socket pins 10.

Plug and socket connectors are provided for the joint between the sensors and transmitters, according to the above wherein the plug connectors 25 and socket connectors 39 have an exterior thread 30 to produce the connection, fixation and pressing with the plug connector 38 or socket connector 24 by means of work with the inferior thread 40 of the pressing ring 23 of the plug-socket connector.

A transmitter and sensor element is provided that enables the measurement of different variables, such as temperature, pressure, flow, level, pH, dissolved oxygen, current, voltage, humidity, etc., sensor and transmitter mechanical connectors, according to the foregoing wherein the transmitter 12 can be manufactured in a simplified form only with the amplification circuit and pretreatment 14; the circuit with the microprocessor 15 that includes a communication (bus) RS, R/W, E, DB4, DB5, DB7 in the J1 :1 connector in which also exists the V and GND lines necessary to provide all the circuit parts; the circuit that identifies sensors 16, the data memory circuit 17, and the connector 11, 13 for the respective sensor connection. The former permits the connection of a sensor network using the definition of the present invention, since each sensor transmitter equipment has the same basic components as described.

These are: A digital identification or direction for each stored sensor in the sensor of the circuit 7; the digital processing 5 of the sensors 4 and 3 and the identification of the sensor when the sensor connects to a transmitter 12 through a circuit 16. A communication (bus) with sufficient available lines, RS, R/W, E, DB4, DB5, DB7 in the J1 :1 connector, to connect a card, known and available in the market, such as of the MODOBUS type, FIELBUS, PROFIBUS, DEVICE NET, HART or other known proprietary type, to configure a sensor network or transmitter control. In this communication (bus) there is available the supply of the individual components that are required for the entire circuit 1 and 12 or the net cards to which they connect. The operation is via digital and/or analog information transmitted by two wires or is done by different wire sets for power supply and to communicate information on such a network.

A transmitter and sensor element that enables the measurement of different variables, such as temperature, pressure, flow, level, pH, dissolved oxygen, current, voltage, humidity, etc., mechanical connectors of sensors and transmitters, according to the foregoing wherein the sensor 1 includes an identification circuit 7, that is principally composed by circuit U1 , a microprocessor with a non-volatile memory and with a serial communication capacity through the COM line present in the J1 connector, such as the supply to the V+ and GND circuit. Further, an interface adaptor is provided that connects directly to the serial door of the computer so that it is possible to generate a communication that permits reading and modifying the information of identification of the sensor. The adaptation is necessary to be compatible with the TTL levels used invention for the data communication with the RS232 levels or others that the personal computers use, to supply the sensor from the serial door of the personal computer and to generate the bidirectional communication through the COM line of the U1 microprocessor.

Connection of the sensor and the transmitter 12,version 1. The connector 9 of the sensor 1 and the connector 11 of the transmitter 12 are part of the present invention. These components are described in a particular and independent way to the electronic portion of the invention, since they are not only applicable to the transmitter or transmitter sensor group as previously described, but apply to other electro-mechanic devices, such as acting sensors. The connectors enable connection in a hermetically sealed and robust way of the sensor 1 part with the transmitter 12 part, as well as any electric or electronic device that can satisfy at least the conditions described before (robust and hermetic). The connectors according to the present invention comprise a socket member and a plug member, which mate to form the connector.

In the case of the transmitter 12, the socket and plug connectors can be installed in this invention in a non-discriminatory manner regarding the sensor 1 part or the transmitter 12 part, according to each design application in particular and the convenience to realize it.

According to Figures 4 and 6, the connection of female, socket connector 24 to a male a socket-plug connector 25, as pictured in the drawings, is made by a pressing or tensioning ring 23 that enables joining, fixing and generating the pressing or tension of the socket connector 24 with the plug connector 25 through an interior thread 23a that threads onto and works in cooperation with in the exterior thread 30 of the plug connector 25.

A flange 26 projects from the periphery of the socket connector 24 that cooperates with a shoulder 23b on the ring 23 to generate the tension of the pressing to hold the connectors 24 and 25 in tight engagement. An O-ring 27 is interposed between the flange 26 and a shoulder 25a formed at the base of the external threads 30 formed on the connector 25 and serves to generate a seal upon tightening of the tensioning ring 23 by engaging the external threads 30 of connector 25 while bearing on the flange 26.

In its interior, the socket connector 24 has a cavity 31 that provides a seat 23c for a core or base 32 of a plastic material, preferably of PVC, ABS plastic, Teflon or other polymer or copolymer that has sufficient strength to sustain or encapsulate an array of connection sockets 23d for reception of pins, in enough quantity and in the proper orientation, to generate the electric interconnection of two devices (a socket and a plug). Socket pins 10 are integrally connected to the sockets 23d. The pins 10 and sockets 23d are made of silver, a base metal plated in silver, bronzed, nickel plated, gold, plated in gold, copper or other conductor material. The socket connector 24, as well as, the pressing ring 23 are composed of any kind of stainless steel, bronze or other metallic or non-metallic material or similar. Sockets 23d and pins 10 can be made tubular with a closed upper end and an open lower end.

The posterior part 33 of each kind of socket connector 24 is identified in the following way, according to their incorporation to a particular device:

Figure 4, posterior connection to plug thread

Figure 5, posterior connection socket thread

Figure 6, the posterior connection begins from a structure, whether welded or fabricated from a device of which it is part and it enables connection to another.

In the particular case of this invention regarding the sensor 1 and the transmitter 12, the socket connector 24 is part of the transmitter 12 and it is incorporated through one of the ways described above to the housing that contains the transmitter 12 with the pins connected by appropriate leads to the relevant components in the transmitter 12.

According to Figures 7 to 10, the plug connectors 25 are provided of exterior threads 30 to enable or produce the connection, fixation and pressing with the socket connector 24 by means of the work in these threads of the pressing rings 23 of the socket-plug connector, as described above.

In the interior of the plug connector 25, there is a cavity 36 defining a seat 36a for a base 38 of a material preferably of PVC, ABS plastic, Teflon or other polymer that sustains or encapsulates an array of pins 10 for connection, in enough quantity, to generate the electric interconnection of the two devices 24 and 25. The plug pins used are upwardly projecting closed end tubular or solid structures that fit into the socket pins 10 that are tubular and open at their lower ends. The pins are telescoped together in a tight friction fit to make the electrical contact. The pins 10 of device 25 denominate the plug connector. The connectors can have a hole 34a with or without a thread for a fixation pin 34 to fix the base 35 against movement and hold the base pins 10 in a fixed orientation.

The posterior part of each kind of plug connector 25 is identified according to its incorporation to a particular device.

In the particular case of this invention, the plug connector 25 is part of the sensor 1 and it's incorporated through one of the ways described formerly to the housing that contains the sensor 1. In other application, the socket and plug connectors can be reversed.

In the connector 9 of the sensor 1 and the connector 11 of the transmitter 12, version 2, the connector of the sensor and connector of the transmitter 12 can have an opposite denomination according to which connector the socket or plug pins 10 are installed in by which the application with them is described in the opposite parts of the ones described in version 1.

The connectors, as described, enable connection in a hermetic and robust way of the sensor part 1 with the transmitter part 12, as well as, any electric or electronic device that can function at least according to the conditions formerly described (robust and hermetic). It's composed of a socket connector 38 and a plug connector 39.

For the case of the transmitter 12, the socket connectors 39 and plugs 38 can be installed in this invention reversibly in the sensor part 1 or transmitter 12, according to each design in particular and the convenience of realizing it.

According to Figure 11 to 13, the plug connector 38 includes a pressing ring 23 socket- plug connector that is a piece that enables joining, fixing and generating the pressing of the socket connector 39 with the socket connector through its interior thread 40 that works in the exterior thread 30 of the socket connector. This piece has a flange 26 in the periphery of the plug connector 38 to generate the tension in the pressing. In the plug connectors 38 (see Figures 11 , 12 and 13) and under this flange it is possible to observe an O ring 27 that generates a seal at sitting in the inferior face of the top 28 of the plug connector 38 with the superior face of the socket connector, where the connection thread starts.

The interior of the plug connector 38 has a cavity 31 with a seat for a base of a material preferably of PVC, ABS plastic, Teflon or other polymer that sustains connections pins in enough quantity to generate the electric interconnection of two devices. The plug pin 10 is the one that denominates the plug connector.

The pins 10 are made of silver, plated silver, bronze, nickel plated, gold, plated with gold, copper or another conductor material.

The plug connector 38 as well as the pressing ring 23 is composed of any kind of stainless steel, steel, bronze or other metallic or non metallic material.

According to Figures 11 to 13, the posterior zone of each kind of plug connector 38 is identified in the following way, according to their incorporation to a particular device: a) posterior connection of plug thread 42 of Figure 11 and the socket thread 43 of Figure 12.

The posterior connection 44 starts from a structure, whether it's welded or fabricated from the device of which it is part and allows it to connect to another (see Figure 13).

In the particular case of the present invention, the transmitter 12, the plug connector 38 is part of the transmitter 12 and it is incorporated through one of the ways described formerly to the housing that contains the transmitter.

According to Figures 14 to 17, they correspond to the socket connectors 39. These socket connectors 39 are made with an exterior thread 30 to produce the connection, fixation and pressing, with the plug connector 38 through the work with the inferior thread 40 of the pressing ring 23 of the socket-plug connector, described previously.

In the interior of the socket connector there exists a cavity 45 defining a seat on which sits a base 46 preferably of PVC, ABS plastic, Teflon or other polymer that sustains connection pins 10 in enough quantity to generate electric interconnection of two devices. The socket pins 10 used are the ones that denominate the socket connector. The pins are silver, silver plated, bronze, nickel plated, gold, plated in gold, copper or other appropriate conductor material. The socket connector 39 (see figures 14 to 17), is composed of any kind of stainless steel, steel, bronze or other metallic or non metallic material.

The posterior zone of each kind of socket connector, Figures 14 to 17, is identified in the following way, according to its incorporation to a particular device:

The posterior connection, Figure 14, is to be welded.

The posterior connection plug thread, Figure 15.

The structural posterior connection, starts from a piece of the equipment it belongs to.

The posterior socket thread, Figure 16.

In the particular case of this application, the socket connector 39 is part of the sensor 1 and it is incorporated by means of one of the ways described before to the housing that contains the sensor 1.

Referring now to Figs 18 to 22, there is shown in Figs. 18 and 19 a transmitter 100 connected to a sensor 102 either directly, as shown in Fig. 19, or through the intermediary of an extension cable 104. The quick connect and disconnect connectors described above are shown and indicated by the legend in the figures. In Fig. 20, a sensor 102 is connected via a cable and DB9 connector to the serial port of a PC 106. The PC contains the configuration software described above. In Fig. 21 , a connector and sensor are shown in exploded view consisting of a sensor cable 108, a connector cover 110 and the main housing of the sensor 114. Also, shown are the pin connections described above in detail. The pin arrangement 112 consists of two rows of four pins each. The pins are arranged in sets, as will be evident from the schematic view of Fig. 22, which shows the sensor options, as described in the foregoing. Note that the sensor housing 114 and cover 110 are arranged with flats 116 to enable the two parts to be threaded together with the aid of a suitable tool or wrench.

Figs. 23 to 28 show the display of the transmitter and show the various screen displays involved in the auto-identification and diagnostics of a connected sensor. The screens are self-explanatory and result either in the failure to detect the sensor, the detection of a failed sensor, or the detection of an operating sensor that indicates its type, range and that the transmitter is operating.

Figs. 29 to 37 show the display of the transmitter and show the various screens that constitute the menu for a connected universal sensor. The screens are self-explanatory.

FIG. 38 is a block diagram illustrating the state descriptions. As shown, the menu block 200 contains the menu structure, which depends basically on the sensor characteristics. In OPERATION MODE 1 : The menu items are standard. In OPERATION MODE 2: The menu items are managed by the sensor's MCU accordingly to its needs. In block 202 the MCU sets the port, communication parameters, etc. In block 204 is when the Signal X and RTD signals are captured. In block 206 is when the output is set to 4 mA (minimum of 4-20 mA range), this is the initial output value of the transmitter. In block 208, here messages are displayed for the user operation of the transmitter. In block 210 this state is like the reception state except that nothing else is done but listen. In block 212 this state shows the user the sensor has been detected and its type. Also here the transmitter is set in the operation mode selected by the sensor. In block 214 the state is hold and wait for the acknowledge code. In block 216 the condition is holding state, the transmitter wait for the enter key to start detecting once more the sensor. In block 218 here is where the mathematics are done. In block 220 the output of the transmitter is set in the corresponding value (between 4 and 20 mA). In block 222 the output of the sensor is set. This is for special design, this option allows the sensor to change role and become a transmitter. It uses the transmitter as a redundant transmitter or simply as a display and interface. In block 224 the Keyboard status is checked on. In block 226 the sensor is checked on to determine whether there is a signal to confirm the presence of the sensor, even when it is in sleep mode.

FIG. 39 is a flow chart (state diagram) showing the initialization. For the transmitter, in block 230 the MCU is initialized, and thereafter, in block 232 the output is set to 4mA. In block 234 a display is initiated for detecting sensor. In block 236 a request is sent for the sensor ID. In block 238 the hold state is activated together with a timer while listening for the response. Responsive to "time out", the program loops back to block 240 to indicate sensor not found and the program goes to block 242 to await the pressing of a key marked "enter". When pressed, the program loops back to block 234 to detect the sensor. When the sensor is detected, the program advances to block 244 initiating the operations in the legend in the block, and advances to block 246 where it sends operation mode acknowledged, and then to block 248 to start operation mode 1 or 2. Meanwhile, for the sensor, the MCU is initialized in block 250 and the program advance to block 252 where the sensor assumes a hold and wait state. When interrogated, in block 252, it generates the ID, operation mode and tables, etc, in block 254, and sends to block 238. The sensor program then advances to block 256 where it again assumes a hold state. When it receives the acknowledgment from block 246 of the transmitter, it starts operation mode 1 or 2 in block 258.

FIG. 40 is a flow chart (state diagram) showing operational mode 1. The transmitter in i block 260 captures and converts the analog signal to digital and sends to block 262 for processing, and then to block 264 to display the results, then to check the keyboard in block 266, and if a key is pressed to loop back to the menu in block 268 and back to block 260. If the keyboard is not pressed, the program continues to block 270 to check the sensor and then to block 272 to set the output to the 4 to 20 mA range, and then loops back to block 260. During mode 1 , the sensor is in the sleep mode in block 280 and only awakens when it receives an ID REQUEST. FIG. 41 is a flow chart (state diagram) showing operational mode 2. In this mode, the transmitter in block 282 is in a reception state and the MCU periodically checks to see if the sensor is connected, actualizing the keyboard status and being receptive to its commands. Meanwhile, the sensor in block 290 captures a measurement and converts it from an analog signal to a digital signal, and processes with stored data in block 292, and then, when available, sets the sensor output in block 294. The program advances to block 296 where the "display data" command is sent to the transmitter. In block 298 the sensor hold for an acknowledgement, and when received from the transmitter, sends, in block 300, the "output set point" command to the transmitter, and holds in block 302 for acknowledgement. When received, the program advance or steps to block 304 where it send "read keyboard status" to the transmitter and then received and stores the keyboard data from the transmitter in block 306, and if no key is pressed, then the program loops back to block 290. If a key is pressed, the program goes to block 308 for the menu and then loops back to block or step 290. On the transmitter side, the transmitter in step 320 receives the command from block or step 296 and in block or step 322 sends an "ACK" to the sensor in step 298. In step 324, the transmitter receives the command from step 300 of the sensor program, and returns an acknowledgement in step 326. In step 328 the transmitter receives the command from step 304 of the sensor program and returns the "KEYS STATUS" in step 330 to the sensor in step 306. The final step 332 of the transmitter program is a reception state.

As will be appreciated, the programs and steps thereof as described will enable a person of skill in the art of programming to readily program a computer to carry out the steps described and accomplish the purposes and objects of the invention. Although the invention has been described in specific terms, change will be apparent to those skilled in the art from the teachings herein. Such changes are deemed to fall within the purview of the invention as claimed

Claims

WHAT IS CLAIMED IS:
1. A method for sensing and transmitting process parameters characterized by the steps of a. measuring by a sensor at a preselected location in a process a parameter of the process, such as, temperature, pressure, flow, level, pH, ORP, dissolved oxygen, current, voltage, humidity and deriving an analog signal correlated to the measurement thereof ; b. sensing the temperature of the environment at said preselected location and generating data indicative thereto; c. storing at the preselected location data correlated to the operating characteristics of the sensor; d. preamplifying and processing the derived analog signal to convert to a digital signal; e. transmitting to a transmitter located at the preselected location the converted digital signal, data related to the temperature of the environment sensed and data from the stored date indicative of the operating characteristics of the sensor; f. processing in the transmitter received signals correlated to the measurement to conform the measurement to a standardized predetermined measurement range; and g. transmitting to a remote location the conformed measurement together with data received from the sensor that distinguishes the kind of sensor and its characteristics.
2. A method for sensing and transmitting process parameters according to claim 1 characterized by the further steps of measuring by a plurality of sensors, each at a different location in the process, a variety of parameters, each sensor cooperating with an associated local transmitter that processes the measurement received from its associated sensor and standardizes the measurement to a predetermined range for further transmission.
3. A method for sensing and transmitting process parameters according to claim 2 characterized by the local transmitters transmitting to a remote station via a common communication network
4. A method for sensing and transmitting process parameters according to claim 3 characterized by the transmissions over the communication network being in the same format and protocol.
5. A method for sensing and transmitting process parameters according to claim 4 characterized by the transmissions being via the Internet.
6. A method for sensing and transmitting process parameters according to claim 4 characterized by the transmissions being wireless.
7. A method for sensing and transmitting process parameters according to claim 1 characterized by the further step of connecting the sensor and transmitter for communication by a standardized coupling that handles all forms of measurement signals.
8. A method for sensing and transmitting process parameters according to claim 1 characterized by further step of storing in the transmitter signals and data received from the sensor.
9. A method for sensing and transmitting process parameters according to claim 1 characterized by the further step of storing in the sensor data indicative of the kind of sensor, an ID, and data relating to its operating characteristics.
10. A method for sensing and transmitting process parameters according to claim 1 characterized by the further step of displaying at the local transmitter data received by the local transmitter from the sensor.
11. A method for sensing and transmitting process parameters according to claim 1 characterized by the further step of providing an input/output for the local transmitter.
12. A method for sensing and transmitting process parameters according to claim 1 wherein the sensor is capable of measuring a variety of process variables.
13. Apparatus for sensing and transmitting process parameters characterized in that a. a sensor device to be situated at a preselected location in a process and contains a first sensor for measuring a parameter of the process, such as, temperature, pressure, flow, level, pH, ORP, dissolved oxygen, current, voltage, humidity and deriving an analog signal correlated to the measurement thereof ; a second sensor for sensing the temperature of the environment at said preselected location and generating data indicative thereto; a store for data correlated to the operating characteristics of the first sensor; and a preamplifier and processor of the derived analog signal to convert to a digital signal; b. a transmitter device to be located at the preselected location including a processor for processing the received signals correlated to the measurement and to conform the measurement to a standardized predetermined measurement range based on the converted digital signal, data related to the temperature of the environment sensed and data from the stored date indicative of the operating characteristics of the sensor; and a transmitter for transmitting to a remote location the conformed measurement together with data received from the sensor that distinguishes the kind of sensor and its characteristics.
14. Apparatus according to claim 13 wherein a plurality of sensors are deployed at a plurality of locations, each having an associated transmitter.
15. Apparatus according to claim 14 wherein said plurality of sensors, each at a different location in the process, measure a variety of parameters, each sensor cooperating with an associated local transmitter that processes the measurement received from its associated sensor and standardizes the measurement to a predetermined range for further transmission.
16. Apparatus according to claim 15 wherein the local transmitters transmit to a remote station via a common communication network.
17. Apparatus according to claim 16 wherein the transmissions over the communication network being in the same format and protocol.
18. Apparatus according to claim 17 wherein the transmissions are effected via the Internet.
19. Apparatus according to claim 17 wherein the transmissions are wireless.
20. Apparatus according to claim 13 wherein a standardized coupling that handles all forms of measurement signals interconnecting the sensor and transmitter for communication.
21. Apparatus according to claim 13 wherein the transmitter includes a store for storing in the transmitter signals and data received from the sensor.
22. Apparatus according to claim 13 wherein the sensor stores data indicative of the kind of sensor, an ID, and data relating to its operating characteristics.
23. Apparatus according to claim 13 wherein the transmitter includes a display.
24. Apparatus according to claim 13 wherein the transmitter includes an input/output.
25. Apparatus according to claim 13 wherein the sensor is capable of measuring a variety of process variables.
PCT/US2002/028535 2001-09-07 2002-09-07 Method and apparatus for sensing and transmitting process parameters WO2003023619A1 (en)

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WO2005073671A1 (en) * 2004-01-28 2005-08-11 Expert Monitoring Limited Wireless sensor monitoring systems
CN105371884A (en) * 2015-09-11 2016-03-02 重庆川仪自动化股份有限公司 Circuit and system for reading parameters of HART instrument through RS232

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