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Signal converters for hazardous areas

12 January 2010

With the introduction of its ACT20X modules Weidmüller is offering a completely new family of signal converters for hazardous area applications. With just 11 mm per channel these compactly designed modules require very little space in the electrical cabinet. All ACT20X converters can be configured via a PC utilizing the software ‘WI-Manager’.

Signal converters for hazardous areas
Signal converters for hazardous areas

This software is based on vendor-neutral FDT/DTM technology.

The innovative modules are designed to be installed in safe or hazardous areas of Zone 2. The ACT20X family includes digital and analogue intrinsically safe converters that both isolate and convert signals from as well as into hazardous areas. The innovative signal converters process 2-wire HART, NAMUR, RTD, thermocouple or DC signals as well as digital signals with electrical connection to hazardous area Zone 0. All modules have 3-way separation and are optionally available with dual channel functionality. With high levels of insulation resistance, accuracy and thermal stability ACT20X modules provide a pure, disturbance free signal at all times.
A relay-based error monitoring facility simplifies servicing. ACT20X modules can be utilized in temperatures from -20 °C to +60 °C without restrictions. They have all relevant international approvals such as ATEX, ICEEX, GOST, FM – in other words, the modules are predestined for use in applications all over the world.

Weidmüller specifically developed its ACT20X family of products for process automation tasks in hazardous and non-hazardous area applications. The 16 different variants condition all conventional input signals (2-wire HART, NAMUR, RTD, thermocouple and DC signals) from sources within hazardous area Zone 0 as equally as digital and analogue signals into hazardous areas to control field devices. To ensure rapid error identification the integrated relay output supplies an error message should an error occur – a facility that increases plant availability.

Utilising the WI-Manager configuration software based on FDT technology (Field Device Tool) makes it possible to adapt all ACT20X products via a PC to meet different process application requirements. For this purpose Weidmüller provides the Device Type Manager (DTM), which can be executed in any FDT-based frame application. As well as fast and error-free parameterisation of individual devices DTMs make it possible to evaluate measurement and diagnostic data. In addition, it is possible to unambiguously identify a connected device via DTM.

ACT20X modules are equipped with a cleverly design connection technology that supports simple, coded mating. The integrated release lever ensures the connection can be disconnected without damage when servicing is required. Devices from the ACT20X family have been designed to operate in an ambient temperature range of -20 °C to +60 °C – in other words in practically all fields of industry. The hinged and transparent front plate can easily be opened upwards. It has been designed for simple accommodation of device markers.

Products from the ACT20X assortment are designed to be installed in Zone 2 or in non-hazardous areas; international approvals such as ATEX, ICEEX, GOST and FM (Class 1, Division 1, 2 and 3) allow processing of signals from Zone 0. Put succinctly, the modules are suitable for use in applications across the globe.

The six basic module types in detail:
The ACT20X-HAI-SAO signal isolator is a HART-protocol transparent signal isolator for analogue input signals from hazardous area Zone 0 sources. Its output side provides an analogue signal for safe area devices. A dual-channel version is optionally available.

The ACT20X-HTI-SAO temperature signal isolator/converter facilitates utilization of PT100 sensors. The input circuit is designed for intrinsically safe signals from within Zone 0. Analogue signals are made available on the output side for safe area devices. A dual-channel version is optionally available.

The pulse isolator ACT20X-HDI-SDO is a special signal isolator/converter for NAMUR sensor signals from within Ex Zone 0. Transistor or relay outputs are available on the output side. A dual-channel version is optionally available.

The proportional actuator driver ACT20X-SAI-HAO is HART-protocol transparent. The input has been designed for use in non-hazardous areas, the output for Ex Zone 0. A dual-channel version is optionally available.

The digital actuator driver (solenoid valve switch / alarm signalling facility) ACT20X-SDI-HDO is equipped with an input in the non-hazardous area and an output in Ex Zone 0.

The universal isolator/converter ACT20X-HUI-SAO is a user configurable temperature and signal converter for PT100, thermal and current (mA) inputs from within Ex Zone 0 as well as an output for non-hazardous area devices.

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