Distec is expanding the range of Red Lion Controls products that it stocks and distributes. It stocks visualisation systems and protocol conversion modules, which are designed to help plant managers in the industrial automation, process engineering and manufacturing sectors to improve efficiency, accurately monitor production output and affordably create smart factories.
The main product types that Distec is now stocking are data logging protocol converters, industrial networking devices, operator interfaces and visualisation systems. There are numerous products within each of these categories that are designed to meet industrial needs, such as Power over Ethernet (PoE) switches with either four or sixteen slots to suit a variety of applications.
One of the more notable additions to the existing range is the Red Lion Controls Data Station Plus (DSP), a data logger that can connect multiple systems and convert communication protocols from legacy equipment to newer systems to ensure compatibility. Plant managers can use the built-in webserver to access performance data remotely and effectively monitor the status of equipment once systems are networked.
“As the concept of the smart factory gains traction with industrial businesses, compatibility between systems is vital,” explained Adrian Swindells, Director of Distec. “Because communication protocols vary between manufacturers, traditionally, this could only be achieved with a complete overhaul of equipment. Since many factories still use older equipment in their processes, the most cost-effective solution is for plant managers to invest in protocol converters.
“However, there is an inherent concern that older equipment may be more susceptible to failure as components age. Red Lion Controls’ DSP addresses this by allowing plant managers to not only review system performance remotely, but also control equipment through any networked device. Plant managers can also set up the DSP to deliver e-mail and SMS alerts about any issues that arise, which means action can be taken immediately and before the problem escalates.”
The available operator panels, plant-floor visualisation systems and DSPs are both programmed with Red Lion’s Crimson 3.0 software, which features the latest drivers for over 300 industrial communication protocols. All data logged through the software can be synced to FTP and Microsoft SQL servers, which can be subsequently exported in a .CSV format for analysis.