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ELECTRONIC ASSEMBLY Develops GUI for Magnetrol

By Ralph Tischer, Development Manager, ELECTRONIC ASSEMBLY

Magnetrol level and flow controls have counted on the company’s products to improve the accuracy, safety and reliability of process measurement. As the innovator of the first magnetic liquid


level switch, and as a pioneer of today’s break- through level and flow technology, Magnetrol man- ufactures instrumentation that is more intelligent, reliable and easy to install and operate, making it easy for customers to improve safety, drive effi- ciency and grow their businesses.

Revamping Flow and Level Control “As the number and complexity of level meas-

urement technologies grows, the ease of operation of our products depends on the user interface,” says Kevin Haynes, senior project engineer at Magnetrol. “Incorporation of a graphic display allows for improved customer experience in the set up and use of Magnetrol level and flow controls. Because first impressions are so important, it was an easy deci- sion to transition to a graphical user interface.” A graphic display provides the quality look and

feel that is the hallmark of Magnetrol’s products. More information can be presented on a single screen and the use of larger characters improves viewing distance. In combination with four key switches, user navigation of the menu structure is simple and intuitive. Instruction details are avail- able at the unit, diagnostic details are available to speed installation and troubleshooting, and signal waveforms can be presented and analyzed. Haynes goes on to say that while there were

many challenges to make use of a graphic display, there were a few key aspects. Power requirements

agnetrol® International manufactures level and flow controls for process applications worldwide. For more than 80 years, users of

for the display had to be limited. The size of the display had to be just right — small enough to fit in a housing, but large enough for good readability. Optical performance had to be excellent, as

this display is the user’s first impression of Magnetrol’s products. The operating temperature range had to meet industrial control requirements,


8L-6 series display offered an ideal fit for Magnetrol’s needs. “In our search, we found a sim- ulator for Windows,” says Haynes. “The simulator helped sell the concept early in our design efforts and aided in our product selection.” Later, the company made use of demo boards,

obtained through distributors Mouser and Digi-Key, to investigate the capability of the display. The demo boards also allowed Magnetrol to begin firmware design early on in the project — a great benefit. “ELECTRONIC ASSEMBLY provided great

support for character set creation and display sim- ulation. This helped us get a quick start in this design effort. As the project progressed, we inves- tigated a number of custom features for this graph- ic display, directly with the company’s field appli- cation engineers, such as extended temperature range operation and the use of longer terminal leads,” says Haynes. The final product was right on target and

has been very well received, concludes Haynes. “The graphic display allowed us to improve the customer experience in the set up and use of level and flow controls. The LCD graphic display was first introduced in the Magnetrol Model 706 Guided Wave Radar Level Transmitter in 2013,” he says. “That product continues to set the stan-

Level and flow controls with GUIs developed by ELECTRONIC ASSEMBLY.

since the display is part of the system controller. Finally, the company required serial commu-

nication to the display to reduce connector con- tacts, as well as customized terminal leads.

dard for excellence in the level control field.” Contact: ELECTRONIC ASSEMBLY GmbH,

Zeppelinstrasse 19, 82205 Gilching, Germany % +49-0-8105-77-8090 fax: +49-0-8105-77-8099 E-mail: Web: r

July, 2020

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