Gerrie

Getting More Done with Less

GERRIE ROCKWELL AUTOMATION GROUP - Process - May 2020

By Mitchell Page 

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While we tend to take it for granted, wireless technology has totally transformed the environment of our personal and professional lives. Small advancements that have been made over many years have resulted in a wildly different approach to our daily activities.

Think with me for a moment about how enjoying music has changed with the development of wireless speakers. Long gone are the days when I needed to hunt for a fraying AUX cable at the bottom of the dreaded cable drawer or leaving a conversation - and my highly coveted spot on the sectional - to change a playlist.

I would like to propose that in both our day-to-day life and industry, implementing small changes to the technology we use makes a big difference to our efficiency.

While I may be exaggerating the value of this tech in my home life - though I must stress the corner seat of the sectional is categorically the most comfortable – the value of it in our industry cannot be overstated. Say for a moment you are commissioning a level measurement system. There is a lot involved – manuals, communication software and hardware, PPE, permits to work at heights perhaps… I could go on. Before we even begin our work there is a lot of preparation that can eat into our valuable time on site. But what if we can take advantage of the same easy-to-use tech that we carry with us everywhere we go on our phones and get more done in less time?

Enter SmartBlue

A free app from Endress + Hauser. Intended for a technical person to perform some engineering work, this free tool allows us to connect in seconds to our Bluetooth-enabled instruments. Maintenance, commissioning and troubleshooting can be done from a safe location and without any additional tools.

Let’s look at some examples of how this enables you to work smarter with two instruments – the Micropilot FMR10 and the Picomag.

For the level measuring system, we need to do some work on this level instrument. With the right login credentials, we can easily gather real-time data from the instrument and see how what parameters have been input or what diagnostic messages are there. We can also generate an envelope curve as a video or screenshot and download it. This can save us precious time to maximize our efficiency and profitability.

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An envelope curve generated within SmartBlue

As part of this system we are also totalizing water consumption; we’re going to use the Endress + Hauser Picomag. This is a magnetic flowmeter intended for utilities and process water. By approaching the device and tapping on it twice we activate the Bluetooth function. We can then open a guide built into the app that walks us through the different steps of commissioning to get the data we want from this flowmeter. We can also see from the home screen the temperature, conductivity, totalizer and flow rate. No opening panels, no opening up terminal housing on the instrument, no downloading drivers and checking software / firmware compatibility, and no hunting for tools and software.

By also downloading the free Operations App from E+H we can download device-specific documents and manuals or send a request for spare parts. By entering the serial number or better yet scanning a QR code on the instrument we can pull all the records we need.

These are just two examples, but our portfolio of smart instruments is growing rapidly. The same technology that allows you to use your phone hands-free on your morning commute is the same tech that can make your instrument work tremendously easier, safer, quicker, and dare I say a little bit fun for tech-heads like me.

Enabling our customers to work smarter will always be part of the Gerrie mission to make you more successful. For more information check out some of the links on this page.

Talk to you soon,
Mitch

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About The Author

Mitchell Page joined the Gerrie Automation Group in 2017. In his current role as Instrumentation Product Manager his time is spent helping customers craft effective process control solutions.

Passionately Helping Customers Be More Successful By Delivering Exceptional Experiences