Multifunctional digital controller & datalogger for processing the signal from an extensive range of sensors for the purpose of controlling a process or recording test data. The MultiCon has a modular design with three slots in the rear for adding analogue signal conditioning cards which can handle up to 72 signals at once.
- Product Parameters
- Product Description
- Product Applications
- SCADA functionality
- Automatic fruit juice mixing system
- Analog signal hub system
- Distributed application structures
- Visualising & building automation control processes
- Create signal analyser from volt & current input using arithmetic functions
- Setup configuration via PC mouse & keyboard
- PID control loops
- Temperature measurement hub & built-in probe type characteristics
- High current rated relay contact switches
- Fast SSR (solid-state relay) switching outputs
- Connecting together RS485 equipped devices
- Auto-configuration of RS485 Modbus RTU for connecting other device types
- Date & time activated process control functions
- 12 bit resolution continuous analog control outputs
- Master control of smaller I/O modules
- TS-35 DIN rail mounting inside control box cabinet
- Monitor display screens remotely using web browser
- Recording measurement data whilst monitoring & controlling
- Easy controller setpoint access & adjustment
- Pulse counter, flow meter & tachometer inputs
- Download operating manual from MultiCon memory
- Modbus TCP/IP Ethernet communication
- Keep track of running time with Hourmeter modules
- Displaying measured time in different formats
- Weather data recording & visualising
- Pulse or analogue output flow metering
- User permissions for managing access to device settings
- Low operating temperature of -20°C/-4°F
- Pumping station control
- Rugged case for portable use & transportation
- Configuring controller settings remotely from anywhere
- Heating process control
- Remote configuration support via internet connection
- Metered dispensing function
- Trending process parameters using chart recorder display
- Production engineering equipment monitoring & control
- Communication between devices on a large process system
- Multichannel universal sensor signal conditioning
- Automatic change-of-view for multiple channels
- Advanced mathematical functions for complex process calculations
- Mixed modules
- Petrochemical industry
- User characteristic
- Relay outputs
- Set value
- Support for the industry of pharmaceuticals
- Email notifications
- Detecting changes in a monitored heating profile process
- Controlling combustion engines
- Using a PC screen as a display
- Synchronization with time server
- Conditional data recording in practice
- Pulse inputs CP2/CP4 – additional functionalities
- Indicated number of heating profiles
- Recording single element parameters
- Controlling device
- Hardware output monitor
- Recorder with MultiPrint printer
- Enhanced www Server
- Programmable room temperature controller
- Communication with the external SCADA system
- Product quality testing device
- Graphical presentation of results
- Proportional control
- Recording of wood drying parameters
- Mobile recorder
- USB port
- Remote control
- Sorting line controller
- Entertainment & recreation
- Construction industry
- LookUp Table for user characterisation function
- Chemical metal treatment process controller
- License keys
- Product Help
- Minimum time between logged readings
- 4-20mA signal input
- Pressure sensor inputs
- 6 analogue dial pressure & temperature gauges
- Reading differential pressure from 2 pressure sensors
- Logging barometric pressure inside multiple environmental chambers
- Purpose of Ethernet connection
- Configuration access interface
- Viewing charts and tables of logged data
- Datalogging activation
- Data-logging up to 40,000 psi
- 2 input channels for reading temperature & %RH sensors
- Multi-channel indicator for 6 analog input (4-20mA)
- Related Documents
- Display: 3.5″ or 5.7″ graphic TFT, 16 bit colour, 320 x 240 pixels, touchscreen navigation
- Inputs: 72 channels max for analog (0/4-20mA, 0/1-5V or 0/2-10V) and digital, 36 max for thermocouple (J, K, S, T, N, R, B, E), 18 max for RTD
- Outputs: 8 channels max for analog (4-20mA), 8 channels max for alarm relays (1A/250V) or 4 for alarm relays (5A/250V)
- Digital Communications: USB host and device, Ethernet, RS485 (Modbus RTU), RS485 and RS232
- Data Storage: 1.5 GB internally, 250M samples, min interval 0.1 seconds
- Power Supply: 19 to 50 volts DC / 16 to 35 volts AC or 85 to 260 volts AC/DC
- Environmental Protection: IP40 front panel
- Installation: Panel Mounted
- Dimensions: 1/4 DIN, 96 x 96 x 100 mm
- Special Features: Multichannel, touchscreen, bargraphs, charts
- Special Options: IP54 lockable transparent front panel door, IP65 front panel, datalogging, Ethernet coms
A fully configurable touchscreen display allows the operator to choose which parameters to display on the MultiCon controller and data logger and in which graphical format such as chart, bargraph, dials or numeric values. To help with device configuration it is possible to connect a standard USB keyboard and mouse directly to the MultiCon.
The MultiCon logging controller can provide up to 8 proportional, integral and derivative (PID) control functions along with up to 12 separate On/Off alarm relays.
The internal datalogging memory of the MultiCon process controller can store up to 250 million samples of data with a 1.5GB memory capacity. The DAQ Manager datalogging desktop software package is used to retrieve data and groups it to produce graphs or tables.
SCADALite is an innovative feature that allows you to manage the process directly from the MultiCon display. Essential information can be presented in a graphical form enriched with animations, dynamic graphs and the most significant numerical parameters, as well as audible alerts in the case of an alarm. SCADALite allows you to create as many as 15 individual screens, presenting a various range of required information.
The SCADALite implementation is straightforward, you can upload a graphical design or a simple photo of the application into the device, and overlay the indicators. This can be accomplished within a few minutes and directly from the MultiCon screen.
Automatic fruit juice mixing system
In the example opposite, the tanks levels of the fruit juice constituents are monitored and used to switch batch valves. After finishing a whole process sequence, the controller will switch the pump on to refill each tank. The varying levels are shown on the CMC display screen.
Some of the MultiCon outputs can be utilised for alarm signals, to use as a simple controller and HMI unit collected in one single device. There is no need to create a visualisation application and control procedures separately.
Analog signal hub system
In this kind of industrial application the CMC-99 collects all analog measurements and sends them through one Modbus RTU serial link to the main PLC. The distance between CMC-99 and a PLC installation can be up to 1000 m.
All measurements are sent using one cable instead of multiple analog signal wire connections, which is a very cost effective method. Modbus RTU is a very popular and reliable communication protocol.
There is also the possibility to divide a Modbus network into several subnets, and the CMC-99 can work as a Master in one subnet and as a Slave in another.
Distributed application structures
All data are sent to another device (e.g. PLC) using one single cable. Today it is the most advisable communication method when using the MultiCon with distributed application structures.
Modbus RTU protocol can be used in explosive Atex zone as well. There is no need to extend system. All analog measurements are collected together and shown on the CMC screen.
This controller can be extended by up to three Modbus RTU subnets. For example a subnet can be created to connect a CMC with a PLC, and the PLC acts as the Master and the MultiCon as the Slave.
Visualising & building automation control processes
Nowadays industrial automation trends are going towards miniaturization and universalization. Outdated and unreliable systems like synoptic control boards can be now replaced with multi-purpose single devices.
Today meters/controllers should be able to meet many customers specific needs.MultiCon is an ideal solution for applications where simultaneous measurement and regulation of numerous channels are required. All control functions are collected in one single device.
CMC is equipped with colour TFT touchscreen that makes it possible to create simple HMI applications, which saves a lot of time. There are plenty of different screen types which allow the user to visualize different measurements in a clear way. Even a complicated automation process can be easily displayed on the MultiCon screen.
Different types of inputs are joined with virtual channels, which can then be used with the built-in control methods to make the MultiCon controller cover almost every industrial automation process.
Create signal analyser from volt & current input using arithmetic functions
In this example the arithmetic function is very useful when MultiCon is used as a signal analyser for monitoring power, power factors and electric energy. In this application you only need to measure voltage and current via the input channels, and all the previously mentioned values can be calculated using the arithmetic functions.
The result of the arithmetic operation can be used as an input channel, and can be displayed on the MultiCon screen or used to drive a controller output.
Setup configuration via PC mouse & keyboard
The MultiCon controller can have a lot of parameters and functions to set up. This makes the device more versatile to help the user configure the MultiCon for any application, but this versatility can also make the setup process very time-consuming if only using the touchscreen to enter settings and select options.
To speed up the process the Multicon has two USB Host ports which can be used to plug-in a PC mouse and keyboard to make it easier to browse menus and select configuration as part of the programming process.
Although each CMC is supplied with a scriber, an operator can also use a PC mouse for easy configuration, especially if the user has many MultiCon units to configure at the same time.
PID control loops
Industrial automation trends are going towards advanced controlling systems. The MultiCon has up to 5 separate PID controllers.
The MultiCon can support very complex industrial PID control loop applications reducing costs and producing energy efficient control systems.
Temperature measurement hub & built-in probe type characteristics
The MultiCon CMC-99 can collect measurements from up to 12 temperature probes (18 temperature probes if using CMC-141) and send them to the SimCorder software which will log the temperature readings and store them in a data file for later analysis and transfer.
One central instrumentation hub to view all temperature measurement channels in one place.
The MultiCon is fitted with dedicated input slots along with type characteristics for either resistance (RTD) or thermocouple (TC) temperature sensors.
These built-in input slots prevent the need to use additional devices like external transmitters to convert the signal from temperature probes.
High current rated relay contact switches
Many of the available controllers have built in relay contact switch outputs, but the MultiCon also provides the option for high current relay output modules. The MultiCon can be equipped with 4 or 6 relay modules rated to 5 amps current load.
For example it is possible to control heaters with a 1200 watt load using the 5 amp rated relay switch. Furthermore MultiCon users do not have to install contactors or indirect relays in their applications to control high power load devices which leads to significant savings on space inside electric cabinets.
On the occasions where contactors or indirect relay contact switches are necessary, the MultiCon is equipped with a 24 Vdc external power supply connection to drive the coils within these additional devices.
Fast SSR (solid-state relay) switching outputs
A great deal of industrial automation solutions need fast switching outputs. The MultiCon has the option for solid-state relay switch outputs available with a choice of SSR output modules with different quantities of switching outputs.
The switching of SSR outputs can be driven down to 0.1 sec time period.
As an example a typical production line requires controllers with fast switching capability.
Connecting together RS485 equipped devices
The MultiCon Modbus RTU Master mode has many settings so it can customised for a wide range of networking applications.
Intermediate pumping stations which are spread over a wide distance are a good example of what can be connected using the RS485 interface, and options like Modbus time-out are particular useful when using mobile phone communications to link together devices over greater distances.
Auto-configuration of RS485 Modbus RTU for connecting other device types
The Multicon Modbus master communication options may not be familiar to every engineer so the MultiCon has built-in preset configurations available for all other Simex devices equipped with RS-485 serial bus interface.
To setup a RS485 connection it is as simple as choosing a device from the list in the MultiCon menu. There is no need to change any Modbus setting, and the communication will start and function automatically once another device is connected.
Date & time activated process control functions
There a many automation applications which rely on a date & time activated functionality. Utilising a PLC to carry out what is a relative simple control operation becomes very expensive, particular when the equipment is duplicated many times in a large production facility.
The MultiCon has a timer system, which is fully usable with any process functions and using different input and output slots the control system integrator can design a very complicated automation system for less cost.
As an example, the horticultural industry use controllers with date and time functions to manage water sprinkling at certain times of the day and for variable time periods.
12 bit resolution continuous analog control outputs
The MultiCon includes slot options for continuous analog control outputs which can be programmed to manage processes by varying pump speeds, valve positions, regulator settings, heater power and mixer speeds.
Each controller output has a 12 bit resolution (4096 divisions) available, and using the profiles function the programmer can create very precise process control loops.
For example in chemical and pharmaceutical applications a high resolution control is required for measuring the exact amount of chemical required to add to a particular production batch.
It is possible to use the MultiCon as a network master to connect up other Simex instrumentation such as these digital I/O modules.
Due to the smaller size of these modules, they fit very easily inside instrumentation control cabinets and panels.
A single RS485 Modbus RTU interface is used to connect all the digital I/O modules to one MultiCon, where all the input and output values can be monitored and controlled.
TS-35 DIN rail mounting inside control box cabinet
The MultiCon has the option for adapting the installation of the unit to a DIN rail holder.
DIN rails are commonly used to mount electrical devices inside a control box cabinet. These control boxes provide a secure and weather protected enclosure for installing necessary electrical instrumentation that would otherwise not be adequately protect from wet weather and unauthorised access.
A TS-35 DIN rail bracket is provided to fit to the rear side of the MultiCon and it can then be easily mounted onto a DIN rail already fitted to the inside of a control box cabinet.
Monitor display screens remotely using web browser
It is possible to view MultiCon display channels using your web browser such as Google Chrome, Internet Explorer, Microsoft Edge, Apple Safari or Opera from any location or type of computer device with a Windows, Mac OS, Linux, iOS or Android operating system.
If your MultiCon has the Ethernet card option fitted then you can assign a static or dynamic IP address in DHCP mode which allows you to connect the MultiCon to your company computer network and view display channels remotely from any work station.
Recording measurement data whilst monitoring & controlling
In addition to the standard monitor and control functionality for the MultiCon, it is also possible to record data at the same time if the data logging function is activated using the software license key USB dongle.
The recorded data can be moved to the free DAQ Manager PC software via a USB flash drive plug into the rear or front USB port.
The DAQ Manager allows the user to analyse recorded measurements using tables or graphs. Data can also be exported as a file for use in other customer programs such as Excel for further analysis and generation of bespoke reports.
Easy controller setpoint access & adjustment
Once the MultiCon has been set-up with logic channels and they have been grouped for for a particular display screen , it is possible to quickly access the control setpoints and make changes.
To access a control setpoint you simply press on the required logic channel displayed on the screen and hold for at least one second. This saves having to go navigate through all the setting options in Menu mode.
Pulse counter, flow meter & tachometer inputs
A great number of industrial applications are built using a wide range of proximity switches, which are mostly driven with fast digital inputs, like pulse counter inputs. These signals provide information about position, speed and flow.
The Multicon includes a number of I/O modules to handle these types of measurement:
- CP2 – 2 universal pulse counters
- CP4 – 4 universal pulse counters
- FT2 – 2 tachometer/flow inputs with totalizer counters and 2 analog current inputs extra
- FT4 – 4 tachometer/flow inputs with totalizer counters and 4 analog current inputs extra
- FI2 – 2 flow inputs as analog current inputs with totalizer counters and 2 analog current inputs extra
- FI4 – 4 flow inputs as analog current inputs with totalizer counters and 4 analog current inputs extra
Download operating manual from MultiCon memory
The user can download the manual using a USB memory stick if it is not possible to download online or local network, ensuring all required documentation is always close at hand wherever the location.
Modbus TCP/IP Ethernet communication
Up to 3 clients can communicate with the Multicon device at the same time, using either the MultiCon’s web page, DAQ Manager PC software or a dedicated SCADA software. Due to abundance of Ethernet port infrastructure within industry, Modbus TCP/IP is becoming a very popular method for communicating with industrial automation equipment.
For very complex process control applications it is necessary to design a Human Machine Interface (HMI), which provides all the information and controls to manage the many parameters and stages of the process. Multipurpose SCADA systems can be a high cost solution, but the MultiCon provides a low cost SCADA device allowing you to build an HMI from web pages design using HTML code.
There are plenty of applications that support html programming that are free to use as part of large scale open source projects. The HTML language allows system builders to design quite sophisticated user interfaces with detailed graphics and annotations.
Keep track of running time with Hourmeter modules
These modules are an ideal solution to control operating time of machinery, to monitor duration of abnormal performance and for to determine maintenance intervals. The HM2 and HM4 have 2 and 4 independent counters respectively.
Each counter is equipped with 2 inputs, START/STOP and a programmable one, which can be set to asynchronous RESET, HOLD or used as independent digital input.
Displaying measured time in different formats
For example this string w:d:hh:mm lets the user display the time as number of weeks, days, hours and minutes, separated by colons.
The time format also allows a result to be divided into two or three independent channels. The input data must be expressed in seconds and the maximum display precision is 1/1000 of a second.
Weather data recording & visualising
The MultiCon has 1.5 GB of data storage memory enabling to save up to 125,000,000 records, and offers the possibility of remote access via ethernet interface. Thus, it can be successfully used as a recorder of climate data in remote locations.
The mode of displaying values as phasor diagrams makes it possible to visualise the data collected from wind speed & direction sensors in the form of a wind rose diagram.
Pulse or analogue output flow metering
In addition to the instantaneous flow rate value, the MultiCon will also calculate the total flow of liquid, gas or powder on a separate channel using the totalizer function.
When controlling flow, the MultiCon has high load relay output modules and precise analogue outputs with a resolution of 4096 segments making it an ideal choice for demanding flow regulating processes.
User permissions for managing access to device settings
The multichannel MultiCon controller is equippped with a MultiLevel Access mode which makes it possible to allow limited setup access to more users.
You can define up to 16 independent users including the administrator who is the only user with a permission to freely configure the device without any limitations. The administrator’s role also includes the facility to define permissions for other users.
A file containing user permissions can be saved using external flash memory, and since it is portable, it can be used to decrease the configuration time when setting up additional MultiCon instruments.
Only one user can be logged on at a given moment. The user is logged off after a predefined time period has elapsed from the last user interaction with the device. The elapsed time period can be set by the administrator as specified by the administrator and the user can logout at any time by clicking on the padlock icon in the information bar.
Alternatively the authorisation process can be setup using USB keys. The hardware key allows the user to log on without the necessity of entering a password and removing the key is equivalent to logging out. A key is assigned to each individual user. This USB key access facility is only available on the MultiCon instruments which have the Access Dongle licence activated, otherwise the login and logoff process must be carried out manually.
Low operating temperature of -20°C/-4°F
As an universal controller, the MultiCon is used in environments where the temperature is much higher or lower than the ambient room or outside temperature, such as in a closed control cabinet, in a production facility surrounded by heavy-duty machinery or within the control units of a seagoing vessel.
To allow the MultiCon CMC to used in more places, it is possible to provide a version which is capable of operating at -20°C/-4°F .
Pumping station control
The controller input modules will accept output signals from flow meters and and hydrostatic pressure probes, and then by utilising the mathematical functions and PID control it is possible to apply complex control loops to manage the operation of the pumping station and protect the pumps against dry running conditions.
Rugged case for portable use & transportation
For portable applications where it is not possible or practical to install inside a control panel or box, the MultiCon can mounted inside a PELI case which is highly robust for transporting and using instrumentation in field environments.
The cases are made of highly impact resistant polypropylene copolymer, ABS and stainless steel and meet the most demanding safety standards.
The input and output connections to the MultiCon are not compromised when fitted inside the PELI case since there are as many as 20 multi-pin connectors for sensors and external interfaces.
Configuring controller settings remotely from anywhere
Using the Modbus TCP/IP protocol implemented in the MultiCon CMC as well as the remote display functionality, the user can easily transfer the display of the device onto their computer screen.
Connecting the MultiCon to a router with properly routed ports enables full control of the remote display application from anywhere.
Heating process control
Due to the many temperature sensing devices that can be connected to the MultiCon I/O modules it possible to utilise it as a temperature process controller for heating applications. The MultiCon provides interfaces for both thermocouples and RTD temperature probes. The relay outputs, fast acting SSR outputs and analogue outputs can all be assigned and configured to trigger using simple algorithms of threshold control or more complex PID control algorithms. The very user friendly and intuitive human interface allows you to create a heating profile tailored to your heating process application requirements.
Remote configuration support via internet connection
Using an Ethernet connection and the “Remote Display” feature, a user can request remote support to resolve any issues with configuring the MultiCon from any geographic location. All you need to do is to connect the MultiCon to a router with properly routed ports. A technical support engineer will be able to assist in configuring the device. Furthermore, every user has the ability to save any configuration which they may send to a technical support engineer for troubleshooting.
Metered dispensing function
Using the totaliser function it is possible to measure the amount dispensed and when to shut off the dispensing pump valve.
Trending process parameters using chart recorder display
The MultiCon provides the option to display process data as a trend diagram so that the process performance can be compressed over time to display the change over a set period of time.
Up to 1 weeks worth of data can be stored for displaying in the trend diaphragm.
Production engineering equipment monitoring & control
The MultiCon offers complete flexibility and customisation to adapt it to an input/output task. The instrument includes lots of different I/O modules to interface with any type of sensor, and a 1.5 GB memory for simultaneous recording of 60 measuring channels.
Apart from measuring the non-electrical parameters which are key for production, such as temperature, pressure and flow, the MultiCon will enable the production engineer to calculate cycle details, record the machine operation time and assign control signals based on measured inputs or mathematical functions which collect input signals from multiple sources.
Communication between devices on a large process system
If the ACM (Advanced Communication Module) module is installed then you will have three isolated RS-485 interfaces to allow you to connect other MultiCon devices together on larger process systems. This is useful for when you need more than one display unit on a large system, and need to communicate data or send commands to a master or slave device elsewhere on the system.
The fully connected units may share operations such as the local display of measured values and controlling the physical outputs at the other end of the system.
Multichannel universal sensor signal conditioning
By combining the multichannel and signal type capability of the MultiCon, it is possible to handle almost any type of signal from a mixed group of sensors.
Each signal can be configured to display over the appropriate measurement range and all grouped together on one display screen.
Automatic change-of-view for multiple channels
It is possible to set-up 90 separate channels with the MultiCon and indicating all of these channels on one display can be very challenging.
To help manage the display of multiple channels and display screens, the MultiCon provides an automatic change of view feature which allows the user to configure how, where and when every channel is displayed.
In the set-up for this feature you can change timeout, source of change activation and time to display before moving on to the next channels to display.
It is also possible to present the readings and data in different ways such as with numeric values, line charts, phasor diagrams, vertical or horizontal bargraphs, and an analogue meter mode.
Advanced mathematical functions for complex process calculations
An example of applying an integral is for MultiCons which only have standard current measurement inputrather than a pulse/counter totaliser input module, and need to display the quantity of product that has passed based on the flow rate.
Calculating power and acceleration, as well as balancing and averaging of measurement data is much more convenient using the derivature function.
Implementing the advanced mathematical functions such as derivative, integral, count pulses, flip flop and average, extends the type of calculations possible with the MultiCon. Also you can more easily implement complex application calculations by eliminating the need for extra channels that you would otherwise need to create to achieve the same calculation.
In order to increase the number of satisfied users of the MultiCon recorders, we are gradually expanding the I/O module range. Mixed UIN/UID modules (analogue-NTC or analogue-digital) has 16 or 24 inputs which allows to measure current, voltage and temperature (using NTC sensors) and can be equipped with non-isolated digital inputs. Available modules:
- UI4N8 – 4 x voltage inputs + 4 x current inputs + 8 x NTC inputs
- UI4D8 – 4 x voltage inputs + 4 x current inputs + 8 x digital inputs
- UI8N8 – 8 x voltage inputs + 8 x current inputs + 8 x NTC inputs
- UI8D8 – 8 x voltage inputs + 8 x current inputs + 8 x digital inputs
To make sensor connection easier, inputs are grouped and all ground terminals are common but separated from power supply and other modules.
MultiCon as a universal controller and recorder can be applied in many industry branches. One of the key industries is the petrochemical sector. Owing to the large number of various inputs/outputs, the MultiCon may easily measure temperature, pressure and the media level in tanks simultaneously. It is equipped with flow measuring modules and enables to precisely determine the current flow rate, dose media to tanks and calculate the total flow value. Global access to the device is ensured through Ethernet which also makes it easier to download data. 1.5 GB of internal storage of the MultiCon enables to store up to 125,000,000 samples.
In order to meet the requirements of the most demanding applications, the MultiCon enables the user to freely process input signals. Apart from the classic smoothing filters, peak detection filters or line scaling filters, the user characteristic feature is very helpful. This feature is defined in the form of 19 straight-line sections and enables to simultaneously slide, linearize and smoothen out the input signal. Such freedom in processing the input values highly facilitates creation of even the most complex control algorithms.
The versatility of the MultiCon recorders is not merely based on the exceptionally large range of input modules. Realization of complex control algorithms is also of key importance. Output relays with load capacity of up to 5A are fully programmable. They can work in 5 different modes including PWM (for SSR outputs). Apart from the trigger source, the thresholds and hysteresis, the user can also define the delays of the switching time, the minimum switching time as well as the method of reaction of the relay output in case of emergencies.
Among the numerous modes in which a logic channel can operate, the set value mode is highly appreciated by the MultiCon users. The value entered can be either a number or a binary code. The logical channel in the set value mode can also take the form of a button, optionally a mono- or bistable one. This functionality enables to implement complex control algorithms while management of the process of recording is a simple task.
Support for the industry of pharmaceuticals
The industry of pharmaceuticals is highly sensitive to the changes of environmental conditions. It is very important for the quality of production as well as employee safety to control temperature, humidity or pressure in particular production processes. Here’s where the MultiCon comes to assist you. It is capable of measuring any non-electric values while being an ideal dosing system, meter of cycles or an alarm unit. Any information about the collected signals can be stored in the internal 1.5 GB memory.
It enables sending e-mails directly from the MultiCon, which makes the device even better adapted to high-tech alarm and monitoring systems. The user can define up to 32 different messages to be sent in case of any of the specified events.
An e-mail message consists of three elements: topic and text of the message (both with fixed content) and an attachment containing momentary values from the selected groups of or individual measurement channels in the .csv format. Because MultiCon supports secure logging (encrypted by TLS or SSL protocol), the account from which notifications are sent can be opened on any e-mail server.
The “E-mail notifications” system functionality requires the license key.
Detecting changes in a monitored heating profile process
Recently added mathematical functions, e.g. derivatives or integrals, expanded the functionality of MultiCon. Derivatives can be used for example in detecting changes in a measured process. Using derivatives as an incline of a measured value diagram, you can easily detect any changes within the process. Thanks to that, you can read any unwanted temperature decrease or the moment the temperature increase stops (e.g. the moment of furnace heating). Oftentimes, this is the signal to start some other process, to change the heating profile, or to simply register the time of the incident. Furthermore, the user can decide what level of change (rise/fall rate) should trigger a reaction from the controller.
Controlling combustion engines
From numerous applications where MultiCon proved to be useful, one of the most interesting ones is the control of the work parameters in combustion engines, used as e.g. drive systems in vehicles and boats, or as redundant power generators. Thanks to its universal design, MultiCon can read various non-electric values, e.g. pressure, temperature, or the flow of work factors, as well as the rotational speed of a rotating object with no need for using additional converters. MultiCon is password-protected and enables quick registration, which makes it an ideal monitoring device. Remote access allows the administrator to control proper engine work with no need for interference.
Using a PC screen as a display
One of them is the ability to use the screen of your PC as a controller display. After configuring an admin password, the built-in webpage displays a hyperlink allowing you to redirect MultiCon’s screen to the earlier started Xming application on your PC. Thanks to that, operators have direct access to all functionalities of the device from any place.
Synchronization with time server
MultiCon devices are often used in applications where the primary requirement is to ensure highly precise process realization in real-time. Currently, MultiCon does not require manual set up of time and date, and it features automatic synchronization. After installing the most up-to-date firmware and connecting the device to the Internet, you can enter an NTP (Network Time Protocol) server address. From now on, the device will automatically synchronize the time with the selected server. Thanks to that, MultiCon always has the correct time and date set up, and all changes to DST are always applied.
Conditional data recording in practice
One of the most popular MultiCon functionalities is the data recording feature, where on the level of basic parameters you can define logical channels that are going to be recorded, as well as data recording frequency.
It is also a good idea to take a look at the remaining data recording parameters provided by the device. One of them is conditional data recording. After selecting it, the user can decide which channel will trigger the data recording for a particular group of channels. Using conditional data recording, you can record particular parameters only in critical conditions, for example when a certain value exceeds a defined threshold.
Another example of the application of conditional data recording (along with time profile) is cyclic data recording, where you can record only the first minute of each hour.
Pulse inputs CP2/CP4 – additional functionalities
MultiCon can be equipped with pulse counter inputs. A single card features 2 or 4 inputs, depending on the chosen module. Additionally, MultiCon can communicate with external SLI-8 module (equipped with 8 independent inputs). An interesting solution is to realize two balances using a single physical input. For instance, you can count all pulses received by the device using one logical channel, while counting the pulses during a particular day using the other channel. Such configuration provides users with functionality of two separate counters – a total counter and a daily counter, which can reset (automatically or manually) more often than the total counter.
Indicated number of heating profiles
In numerous industrial sites MultiCon is used for annealing process management. In such processes, the key is the rate of temperature increase/decrease, as well as the time the elements spend in target temperature-established state. However, there are systems in which the key is not the time, but the number of cycles. Because MultiCon is such a flexible device, it can easily handle this type of tasks as well. In a user-friendly way, it allows you to set the number of cycles of your choice for a particular process, as well as the threshold value that will initiate the cycle count. After the specified number of cycles is reached, the device will inform the user via one of the communication channels (e.g. e-mail).
Recording single element parameters
One of many ways to use conditional data recording is recording single element parameters. For instance, in print applications MultiCon together with a slotted sensor or any other presence sensor can save in its own memory samples not only at an indicated frequency, but also every time an object occurs in the sensor zone. Thanks to that, when you connect MultiCon with a label detecting sensor and an encoder, you can set up the device in a way to make it read the length of subsequent labels directly from the recording files.
Scalability allows you to view not only the length but also the grammage of the material (e.g. wire, steel, foil) directly on MultiCon. You can set up scalability manually or it can be adjusted automatically. This way of using the device enables controlling the amount of manufactured product against the material used.
Hardware output monitor
The logical channel in MultiCon devices can be of various forms, one of which is the so-called “Hardware output monitor”. Depending on the type of output, the device can display the signal in a binary (in 0/1 bit or descriptive form e.g. START, STOP etc.) or analogue (4÷20 mA scaled against engineering units) form. This functionality allows you to use the gathered data to create logical control structures or to run system diagnostics. Thanks to that, you do not need any external controls or meters to visualize output status of a Multicon.
Recorder with MultiPrint printer
After setting up the trigger of the MultiCon regulator and defining logical channels and channel groups, the printer automatically prepares prints along with reports. The printing may occur at the time a particular event takes place, or at a time interval, e.g. an hour. It can also be started manually by the operator.
You can create up to 8 independent report templates. Thanks to the use of the Multicon with the printer, after arriving to the location, an operator has a readymade report at his disposal.
Enhanced www Server
MultiCon features an enhanced WWW server that enables gaining access to numerous functions directly from a web browser. Such functionality enables e.g. previewing logical variable values, the amount of memory left for data storage, or set up parameters of the device. What is more, after signing in as an administrator, you will unlock additional features like: downloading and installing new device setup, Remote Display support that allows you to set up your device directly from you PC. Thanks to that, servicers can diagnose particular problems with an object or remotely re-program the device.
Programmable room temperature controller
They may also be used for building applications.
Time profiles may be triggered by various conditions or initiated at a set time of a given day of the week or month.
Communication with the external SCADA system
MultiCon may successfully serve as the main controller of an independent industrial process or co-operate with other systems. With the numerous communication ports, it may easily communicate with existing controllers. For example, MultiCon may be connected through an RS-485/USB converter to a PC with SCADA (Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition) software installed. This type of connection supports duplex communication and the integration of MultiCon with other automation systems implemented in the facility.
Product quality testing device
A data recorder used for strength tests has to be capable of a quick response to specific changes of the tested parameters. Fatigue tests, in turn, involve a repeated application of the same load to the tested object, which requires long-term recording. With the large amount of integrated memory and the option of changing the length of the sampling period, MultiCon is suitable for both cases. Equipped with the counter inputs that receive the signal from the proximity sensors, the device can, for instance, monitor pushbutton tests. Pressure transmitter and MultiCon with an analog input slot create a useful assembly for pressure tests. In that case, MultiCon is also capable of routine data analysis to detect the moment when the yield stress of the tank is exceeded.
Graphical presentation of results
Despite the immense potential currently offered by process automation, human involvement is still required. The instinctive interpretation of measurement results cannot be replaced with a combination of mathematical dependencies. In such cases, MultiCon can assist the operator by presenting results in the form of bar charts or dial charts. The wide range of colors and available data display arrangements enable parameter presentation adjustment to match the process and user.
In addition to binary relay output modules and fast SSR outputs, MultiCon has also been provided with current outputs. These outputs are used for proportional control of servo valve assemblies. Actuators positioned by such valves can operate synchronously, but since the individual analog outputs can be interdependent, groups of such outputs can be used to control more complex positioning systems.
Recording of wood drying parameters
Exemplary applications of MultiCon include the recording of wood drying parameters. With the multi-channel input modules, the device is capable of monitoring temperature and moisture content, both inside the chamber and of the wood itself. If the process is more demanding, MultiCon can also be used to control those parameters, maintaining them at a constant level or implementing the time profile set by the user.
The functions of the recorder can be used not only in stationary processes. MultiCon can, for instance, be installed on a semi-trailer of a tractor carrying goods for which the receiver requires suitable transport conditions. If necessary, the device can be placed in a durable P130 case and the MultiPrint printer can print out an easy-to-read report concerning the entire transport period.
Every device of the MultiCon line has at least one USB port at the front or rear of the casing, depending on the configuration. This is the simplest method of connecting a pendrive for the exchange of data with the internal memory. An ordinary flash drive is sufficient to transfer the entire configuration from one device to another device without the need to re-enter the configuration. It can also be used to load the Modbus template of the device to which MultiCon will be connected and also copy the recorded data.
The computer is now a device so common that even people whose profession is unrelated to technology find it indispensable in everyday life. Similarly, control systems are installed not only in industrial establishments, where the personnel in charge of maintenance can monitor the process, but also in places where trained engineers are hard to find. In such situations, the investor requires a fault-free system and efficient, quick operation if the parameters have to be modified, and the personnel installing the system require a reduction of the number of inconvenient trips to the customers. Valuable time can be saved thanks to the remote access to the controller. In the case of the MultiCon controller, it is sufficient to equip it with a suitable communication port and provide a permanent connection to the local network, after which, using the remote panel, the configuration can be modified from any place with Internet access.
Sorting line controller
The simplest form of product sorting consists of an analysis of a single feature of the products. If it is necessary to analyze multiple parameters, the process can be conducted in several simple steps or in a single comprehensive step, but, in such cases, simple logical conditions are no longer sufficient. It is necessary to collect all information about the product and then, using combinations of logical conditions, accordingly control the outputs, which can easily be done by the MultiCon controller equipped with mathematical logic functions. The arguments of those functions can be binary or numerical values, and the large number of logic channels enable the creation of comprehensive combinations of conditions with outputs that affect the behavior of line actuators.
Entertainment & recreation
In addition to the obvious industrial uses of the multi-channel MultiCon controller, it has recently become an object of interest to people in lines of business that are not directly associated with control systems – entertainment and recreation. Currently, large entertainment centers can no longer exist without devices that are seemingly simple, ergonomic and uncomplicated but, in reality, are packed with electronic controllers that ensure suitable operation. In addition to the implementation of fixed sequences, such centers frequently have to be able to respond to non-standard situations, which cannot be done without the measurement and recording of key parameters. The function of feedback control can easily be performed by the MultiCon equipped with a suitable set of inputs and outputs.
Examples of such uses include the control of crane tilt based on analog signals from the tilt sensors. Those signals are scaled and converted in accordance with requirements of the given application.
Analog outputs enable the transmission of information about tilt to further components of the control system, and they often directly affect the actuators.
LookUp Table for user characterisation function
The value of every logical channel of MultiCon recorder may be converted using many various methods: by linear scaling, transfer with compliance to the user characteristics. In the case of the letter, each point of the characteristics required manual configuration, what extended the process significantly.
The “LookUp Table” in the user characteristics function is a great tool which allows entering individual points of the characteristics in the form of a csv file, and then importing them to any MultiCon logical channel. Additionally, the edited list may be saved, from the device level, in a new file and used to scale another channel. The new option makes the work on creation of repeatable configurations much more effective and eliminates errors which may occur during manual entry of a large volume of numerical data.
Chemical metal treatment process controller
The large number of functions of the MultiCon makes it suitable for simultaneous recording and control, which may be useful in chemical metal treatment processes. The process engineers in such applications would then be capable of observing all relevant parameters, e.g., the concentration of the individual elements in the bath, pH or temperature, and also to control the parameters that are essential to the given process, e.g., electrical current intensity, etc. In long cycles, the function of conditional recording can also come in handy. It will enable data recording in emergencies or modification of key parameters to ensure transparency of data and facilitate later work. Remote access to the MultiCon screen also reduces the time during which the personnel have to remain in unhealthy conditions.
The MultiCon is highly adaptable, and it can be adjusted to the requirements of the given application. Apart from the addition and replacement of input/output modules, it is also possible to extend the range of functions without changing the hardware configuration by entering the license key. The first of the keys that are sold introduces the option of data recording in addition to the existing measurement and control functions. The next key is enables the adjustment of access to the modification of settings depending on access rights. The third of the currently available extensions makes it possible for a MultiCon that is connected to the network to send notifications by e-mail. Each key is entered once, by typing the relevant sequence of characters.
The list of availables licences:
- LKS – data logging licence key
- MLS – Multi-Level Access licence key
- ENS – “E-mail notifications” licence key
Minimum time between logged readings
What is the minimum sample rate of data recording with the MultiCon?
The minimum reading update rate that can be set for storing data is 100 msec or 10 hz.
4-20mA signal input
Is there an analog signal input for 4-20mA in the MultiCon data-logger?
Yes there are 3 available input slots and there is a choice of input card for each slot. If necessary you can fit a 16 channel 4-20mA input card in each slot providing a total of 48 independent pressure channels.
Pressure sensor inputs
Can the MultiCon log a pressure sensor for Datalogging?
Yes with the datalogging option the signal from the pressure sensor can be connected to the one of the analogue input channels on the rear of the instrument. The input signal can then be configured to display the pressure reading on the MultiCon display as a numerical value, graph plot over time or dial gauge indicator. The data can also be saved as a file and transferred to flash memory via the USB, ethernet or other serial interface.
6 analogue dial pressure & temperature gauges
I have a requirement for six pressure gauges, four are for pressure and two are for temperature. The gauges will be used on a compressor test rig. To reduce the noise levels we are building a cell around the test area to deaden the sound when the compressor is running. The control box will be outside on the test cell. Is there a gauge which will provide a remote interface so that the display can be mounted and read outside the test cell?
The approach we would suggest is to use 4 remote pressure sensors and 2 temperature sensors and feed each signal wire into a MultiCon multichannel indicator. This low or high voltage powered indicator can be mounted into a panel on the control box. The MultiCon has a 320 x 240 pixel display which can be custom configured to show 6 virtual dial gauges, all indicating the reading level of each sensor at the same time.
Reading differential pressure from 2 pressure sensors
I am searching for a digital indicator which can do the maths between 2 channels to create a differential pressure (DP) reading, what do you suggest?
The MultiCon is a multi-sensor input digital readout which includes as standard the ability to create measurement display channels by applying a maths function to specific sensor inputs. This can be configured via the front panel set-up menu screen as shown in the image below.
Logging barometric pressure inside multiple environmental chambers
I run an environmental test lab and I need to simulate altitude over the barometric range of 500 to 1030 hPa in a number of environmental chambers that are located in the lab. I would like to monitor the pressure in each vessel and feed the pressure readings into a central logger where we can display real time baro changes and store results for later analysis on a computer. Please suggest a possible instrument that would fit my requirements.
We would suggest the DMP331 which can be scaled to 500 to 1,030 mbar absolute, and the MultiCon which has multiple channels that can be configured to display the trends of multiple channel inputs, store the data for upload and provide a real time stream of data via ethernet, RS485 or RS232.
Purpose of Ethernet connection
What is the Ethernet connection used for that comes with the Advanced Communications Module (ACM) on the MultiCon controller and datalogger?
The Ethernet connection allows you to connect the MultiCon to a network and access it from any PC that is connected to that network.
You can upload logged data that is stored inside the MultiCon via the DAQ manager software.
You can also obtain readings in real-time in a basic format via a web browser such as Internet Explorer, Firefox or Google Chrome by typing the IP address allocated to the MultiCon on the network.
In the future it will also be possible for users to create their own webpages via an applet to display real-time data.
Configuration access interface
Can the setup of the MultiCon controller be configured via the DAQ Manager software or is it only possible via the front panel access?
Configuration is carried out via the front panel, however you can plug a keyboard and mouse into the USB device ports and front usb slot which makes it easier to navigate the configuration menus.
Viewing charts and tables of logged data
Can you display tables and charts of logged data on the touchscreen of the MultiCon datalogging controller or is it only possible on a PC?
The display can be configured to show a chart view which rolls at 12 minute cycles which provides some historic data, but the PC interface and logging software is the intended way to view and analyse the logged data.
Is the MultiCon controller ready for datalogging as standard or is there an activation option?
You will need to select the license key option when ordering the instrument to activate the data logging function. Once activated you can data log any group of input channels from a minimum interval of 0.1 second up to 3600 hours as a sample rate.
Data-logging up to 40,000 psi
Can you tell me what I need to be able to operate up to 40,000 psi?
We would suggest the DMP304 which is a high range pressure sensor which would cover measuring up to 40,000 psi, combined with the MultiCon.
2 input channels for reading temperature & %RH sensors
Will the MultiCon accept 2 inputs of 0-10v dc or 4-20mA to display temperature and %RH? The application is for installation in a clean room environment and would need to be IP65 rated. The display will be mounted on a stainless steel enclosure.
Yes the MultiCon is fully configurable and can accept multiple inputs from either 0 to 10Vdc or 4 to 20mA which can be converted into temperature or relative humidity engineering units. Both input channels can be displayed on the display simultaneously. There is also the option for increasing the front panel protection to IP65.
Multi-channel indicator for 6 analog input (4-20mA)
We are looking for a panel mount multi-channel indicator for 6 analog input (4-20mA), would the MultiCon be suitable?
Yes, you can select one input card for the MultiCon which has 8 volt and 8 current inputs to handle 6 individual 4-20mA input at the same time. You can also display all 6 input readings simultaneously on the display screen.
Specification data sheet
Request Product Price
Please select the options you require for the MultiCon Multichannel Controller and Datalogger in your application and request a quote.