In order to optimize performance of instruments, operators need reliable software that can be used to configure a device for the specific application. In the past, it has often been necessary to use several different manufacturer-specific programs to operate different field instruments to their fullest capacity. PACTware™ software was created to solve this problem and enable any and all adjustment of instruments with only one tool. Many Magnetrol® products are available with custom DTMs that are compatible with PACTWARE. This blog post will answer some frequently asked questions about this software tool:
What are FDT, PACTWARE and DTM?
FDT (Field Device Tool) is an interface code that describes the standardization between a frame program such as PACTWARE and manufacturer-specific DTMs. Its promise is achievement of the elusive ideal of interoperability; any host system working via any communication protocol (e.g., HART, Fieldbus, Profibus) to any field transmitter.
PACTWARE (Process Automation Configuration Tool) is a frame program that operates on a PC or control system. It is a device-independent software program that communicates with all approved DTMs.
A DTM (Device Type Manager) is not a stand-alone program. It is a device-specific software driver designed to operate within a frame program such as PACTWARE. It includes all special information needed to communicate with a specific device (e.g., Eclipse® Model 706, Pulsar® Model R96, etc.). There are two basic categories of DTMs—Communication (e.g., HART, Fieldbus, Profibus) and Field Device (e.g., ECLIPSE GWR transmitter). DTMs allow MAGNETROL to present their level devices to the user in a way that is simple and easy to use.
What capabilities do these different software programs offer me?
Utilizing DTMs with PACTWARE offers a broad range of monitoring, configuration and troubleshooting capabilities:
- Level monitoring
- Viewing, configuration and saving of all parameters
- Viewing echo wave form
- Capturing false target rejection profile
- Trending data including level, signal quality, loop and %output
- Viewing of Diagnostic conditions
Continuously viewing the level in a tank is the starting point for this new software. Position of liquid level can be viewed on the Home Screen in a simple graphical format. Level and output values are shown numerically as well. This screen can be left open to show the relative position of the liquid level.
View and Configure All Parameters
Every parameter in the PULSAR and ECLIPSE radar transmitters can be monitored and modified remotely with a few clicks of the mouse. From units of measure to settings for dielectric range, each parameter can be viewed or changed to suit application conditions. Parameters can be developed offline or saved from one transmitter and loaded to another. Easy to use tabs and icons show the major commissioning categories of Identity, Basic Configuration, I/O Configuration, and Local Display Configuration, along with Advanced and Factory Configuration.
The ability to trend data over a period of time allows insight into overall operation of a device. For example, trending the LEVEL, SIGNAL STRENGTH and LOOP values is invaluable when attempting advanced configuration or troubleshooting. PACTWARE PC software also has the ability to track all parameters including DISTANCE and %OUTPUT. The vertical and horizontal scales can be manipulated to show as much or as little data as necessary. The data can also be saved as a picture (*.bmp) or data (*.txt) file.
Echo Curve Capture
An oscilloscope can be a handy tool when troubleshooting electronic equipment. Few companies own one and fewer people know how to use them. The ability to view an echo waveform is a classic example of “a picture is worth a thousand words.” Now any operator can see into the vessel through the eyes of an ECLIPSE transmitter. The Echo Curve screen yields a wealth of useful information such as configuration parameters, thresholds and level location that can be used to optimize performance.
How can I learn more information about PACTWARE?
MAGNETROL has produced a brochure with more information about PACTWARE software compatibility with our instrumentation. To learn more, please download the brochure.