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CLIMATIC & STRESS TESTING: MEASUREMENT


FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS Customisation: what are the options for customising the user interface?  The F4T comes with preconfigured screens; customers do not have to create their own screens fromscratch. Also, the screens have endured rigorous usability testing to ensure the controller is intuitive and easy to use.  The F4T allows a user to personalise the look and layout of up to four home screens. Examples of personalisation include setting howmany channels (loops, monitor inputs, limits) are displayed on the fourmain home pages.  Within the outputs section, the user can prioritise the specific order in which they would like individual output soft keys or profile events to appear. Additionally the customer can enter customnames for outputs, PID loops, alarms, events, profiles, etc. Quality and Reliability  Most of the control algorithms used in the F4T controller, as well as the input/output hardware electronics, have been deployed in other designs that have been used in over 100,000 installations worldwide.  The display has an environmental NEMA 4X/IP65 rating.  The LED backlife is greater than 50,000 hours. Remote Access: can the F4T send an email or text message if an out-of limits condition exists or if a profile completes?  The F4T controller features an Ethernet communications port that allows connection to the controller via the Internet for remote access.  There are future roadmap plans with remote access that will allow for e-mail





temperature PID, over/under temperature limit, power switching,math, logic, timers and counters, into one integrated system. The F4T lowers ownership costs, reduces design complexity and saves wiring time and panel space. A significant benefit is design flexibility.


It is scalable, and offers a wide range of field removable input/outputmodules. This allows the unit to be configured into a multitude of applications, while integrating easily with the required hardware. Watlow’s high quality F4T controller


offers robust algorithms for temperature, cascade, altitude, humidity and compressor functions, which lowers ownership costs, eliminates the need for separate discrete components, reduces complexity and simplifies ordering and installation. EE


32 /// Environmental Engineering /// December 2016


and textmessages. Other developments coming on streaminclude Apple and Android apps for remote interrogation. Data Logging: what are the options for data logging and how do we access the data?  The F4T controller is available with a data logging option. Here, set points, process values and per cent output values are logged and saved and can be transferred fromthe controller via a USB flash drive.  The file format is a .CSV file that can easily be imported and graphed using common PC programming software packages such asMicrosoft.  Also available are trending screens and data encryption file types to helpmeet industry standards around data tamper- proofing, such as CFR21 Part 11 (FDA/food), NADCAP and ASM2750D/E (used in aerospace/government/military).  The F4T allows for the ability to update to new firmware on controllers. Control Functions  The F4T can control fromone to four PID process loops. The PID loops can be ordered in increments of one to ensure you can order exactly what is needed.  Additionally, two of the four available loops can be utilised as cascade loops.  The F4T controller has five independent PID sets that can be utilised to help ensure optimumprocess control is achieved. Modularity and scalability  The F4T controller is bothmodular and scalable. Inputs and outputs can be ordered in increments of one.  Modularity – The flexmodules (hardware inputs and outputs) can be added, subtracted or changed in the field.


There are three well-used terms in the measurement industry: accuracy, repeatability and resolution. These terms are sometimes used interchangeably and should not be.  Accuracy designates how close a measured value is to the true quantity of what is beingmeasured. Without comparison to a standard, accuracy cannot be determined.  Repeatability describes how well a systemor device can reproduce an outcome in unchanged conditions. In some applications, repeatability ismore important than accuracy. If the system is repeatable, an error can bemapped and compensated for.


 Scalability – A customer can rearrange different combinations of inputs and outputs to scale up to 24 inputs or 36 outputs depending on the configuration mix.  Flexmodules allow users and OEMs to modify or add inputs, outputs and other capabilities after buying and installing an F4T controller.Withminimumclearance, flexmodules can be added or replaced without disassembling or even removing the controller fromthe panel. Language capability  The controller can be programmed to display in: English, German, French, Japanese, Korean and Simplified Chinese.  Usermanuals are available in English and Simplified Chinese, with quick-start guides in the other languages.  There are additional support tools such as “how to” videos on theWatlow web site to help users accomplish keytasks. Porting  Profiles, data log files and the controller configuration file are the three types of files that can quickly be imported into or exported fromany F4T controller.  Locating USB ports on the back helps in instances where security reasons dictate they are not accessible through the front panel. It also results in not taking up valuable space on the front panel that would compete with the size of the colour/graphical display.  With the use of USB accessory cables, the USB can bemounted in the front panel to any location they prefer. This also allows users to select their preferred type of USB housing, such as open air or an environmentally protected type USB housing.


ACCURACY, REPEATABILITY AND RESOLUTION


 Resolution is the smallest increment the systemcan display ormeasure. A systemcan have a high resolution with poor repeatability and accuracy. Resolution is a primary concern in applications regarding speed control or surface finish. Accurate devices are desirable


because they yieldmeasurements that closely reflect the true flow rate. Repeatable devicesmay not yield accuratemeasurements, but they will performin the same manner under the same conditions. Thismay sometimes be acceptable, depending on the application and budget.


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