Better connected Bluetooth communication thanks to mass flowmeters

Juan Carlos Ballesta reveals the advantages of Bluetooth communication with Coriolis mass flowmeters

Coriolis mass flowmeters are available with many communication protocols. In addition to traditional comms such as Modbus, HART and Foundation Fieldbus, more advanced options including PROFINET and Ethernet IP for Industrial Ethernet are now available. Taking this a stage further, Bluetooth communication with Coriolis mass flowmeters is now a reality.

Bluetooth is well established in the consumer world, with people using it to quickly and conveniently connect their mobile phones and tablets. Making Bluetooth available on a Coriolis mass flowmeter adds another layer of communication with an easy interface compatible with both the traditional and newer communication protocols. This addition to existing structures is seen by many expert groups as the future of automation and communications protocols. 

Recently released by Krohne as part of its myDevice smart services concept, the technology allows the user to make a secure wireless connection to any Bluetooth-equipped Optimass Coriolis mass flowmeter from a distance of up to 20m (depending on the environment), even in hazardous areas, and using SIL certified devices. Navigation is made using the free to download Opticheck Flow mobile app for android or IoS on a mobile phone or tablet. 

The launch is an important part of the myDevice concept, which provides a suite of smart service tools for commissioning, verifying and monitoring field devices. This gives convenient access to all device-related assets, supported by a complete online training and tutorial portfolio. As well as being a platform for physical tools, it also includes many interconnected and complementary virtual and cloud-based services that are constantly being added to as the platform continues to expand. 

Connecting to the flowmeter using Bluetooth provides an open interface between “process control“, “monitoring” and “optimisation”. There are many advantages for end users and service teams starting from on-site commissioning, through monitoring and verification. Instead of having to access the flowmeter display, all the device information is now available in the palm of the hand, making it the ideal service tool to manage all device settings and outputs.

Wireless commissioning with Bluetooth communication

A key benefit is that a variety of commissioning tasks can now be completed wirelessly, including zero calibration, configuration of diagnostics, NE 107 configuration (including mapping of events to NE 107 statuses), monitoring of meter performance and application parameters. The app also has direct access to all the device-related information and assets held on PICK, Krohne’s Product Information Centre, to aid commissioning and service.

Viewing the flowmeter information on a touchscreen device also makes it much easier to access a variety of monitoring tools including graphical display of all measurement readings, setting the two-phase signal for entrained gas, visualisation of process events and the setting of NE 107 status alarms. Fast, on-site verification checks can be performed wirelessly, without interrupting the process, such as making a full back-up of all device settings and restoring to an earlier backup or to the original factory settings.

Having Bluetooth connection to a device with internet access also allows a “snapshot” to be taken of the flowmeter that can be emailed to a Service Centre for analysis in the event of a fault, or for a process to be analysed. It is now possible for a user in Australia to send device information directly to Krohne’s UK centre of excellence and Coriolis research for fast technical support.

Juan Carlos Ballesta is with Krohne.