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Connect to Automation

The X3 Process Indicator simplifies process automation applications.

Wireless communication is a major trend that is gathering strength in automation.

Data that previously had to be passed over miles and miles of wires in the factory now can be passed in real time wirelessly. That reduces the cost of wires and termination devices and eliminates the labor associated with wiring.

To address that trend toward wireless communications, GE Fanuc Intelligent Platforms, a unit of GE Enterprise Solutions (, developed TranSphere Wireless communications products for automation applications.

TranSphere Wireless products include extendedrange IP networking, wireless Internet Protocol (IP)/Ethernet connectivity, and Ethernet and serial communications radio modem solutions.

GE Fanuc Intelligent Platforms also is introducing its TranSphere Wireless remote I/O for analog and discrete I/O signals.

The TranSphere devices support multiple users who connect to multiple applications via multiple protocols on the same unit or the same network, and they provide wireless operation with multiple layers of protection, including 128-bit data encryption, two-way authentication and dynamic key rotation. As a global product, TranSphere supports both 2.4 GHz and 900 MHz frequencies.

Also in the process automation interface area, the Sartorius Group ( has developed an indicator that is designed to provide easy and reliable control of process hopper scales with strain gauge load cells. Sartorius Group’s X3 Process Indicator is a standard Ethernet transmission control protocol (TCP)/IP interface that allows easy integration into existing computer networks for instant transmission of weight values, process status messages or other controllable information via integrated OPCServer technology. Wireless LAN can be used with any standard WLAN module, and remote service is available through a virtual private network VPN connection.

The unit or a network server automatically assigns an IP address to the X3 Process Indicator for simple identification with networks, or users can do it manually. An integrated scanning tool provides identification of all Sartorius product names and IP addresses on the network.

The X3 Process Indicator can be configured through the integrated keypad or by using virtual network computing (VNC) technology that allows users to perform configurations online with Microsoft Internet Explorer.

Additionally, configurations can be stored, edited and managed with ConfigureIT Professional computer software.

Two interface slots and the option of serial or digital interfaces enhance the flexibility of the X3 Process Indicator for future extensions, and fieldbus allows simple integration into automation systems.

Also, a high-resolution 0/4-20mA analog output card is available.

The Mechatonics segment of the Sartorius Group manufactures equipment and systems featuring weighing, measurement and automation technology for laboratory and industrial applications.

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