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Solartron introduces a fast and simple way to network industrial sensors of all types

04 March 2010

Solartron Metrology’s new high speed Orbit3 networking system is a fast and simple way to network industrial sensors of all types, including dimensional and position measuring transducers. It builds on the Orbit2 system, offering substantial improvements and enhancements, including greater accuracy (which has been halved to 0.05% of reading) and improved diagnostics, with local LED diagnosis displayed for each unit.

The sensors are now hot-swappable – a big advantage where a large number of sensors are employed, and up to 200 probes can be connected in a single network.

Orbit3 is a means of building large, flexible sensors and gauging systems with a single common interface, regardless of sensor technology. Its high data transfer rates provide dynamic and synchronisation capabilities for the measurement of moving parts. In addition to Solartron digital transducers, the network allows a wide range of third party sensors to be connected, including pressure, temperature and force transducers.

At the heart of the network is Solartron’s digital probe technology coupled with a robust RS485 multi-drop communications link. A system of nine-pin lockable connectors called T-Cons is used to channel the output of each input/output device on the network to the receiver electronics for analysis and display. Each module has a unique identifier which simplifies data acquisition, especially in large multichannel networks.

The new T-Cons are more robust, with a double latching mechanism and reduced weight making them suitable for high vibration applications. They can be used individually, daisy-chained using computer cable or banked together in blocks to form a multichannel nest. DIN rail mounting is an option, as is IP65 environmental protection.

Connection to PCs and PLCs is possible via an RS232 interface, with Ethernet communication models available shortly.

Orbit3 is suitable for use in a wide range of industries, including automotive, aerospace and consumer electronics as well as test and instrument laboratories.

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