Danaher acquires German automation company
With the addition of PMA products to its line-up, Danaher now offers a level of closed-loop controller sophistication previously hard to find in North America. PMA brand controllers include advanced features such as diagnostics, simulation software, graphical trend recording, position feedback, and rate of change monitoring.
"We are excited about adding a superior brand with leading-edge technology,” said Shane Leonard, Director of DICG’s Process Control Business unit. “Now we can support our customers with a wider range of products, serving more applications – particularly those requiring complex control. The combination of PMA with our existing West and Partlow brands strengthens DICG’s position as a world-class supplier of industrial process controls.”
The PMA line includes panel and DIN rail mounted units, plus modular designs for control of temperature, pressure, flow, humidity, fluid level, and other process variables.
Broad Product Range. PMA’s broad product range and versatile software provide scalable systems for almost any application, with performance and price tailored to the user’s operating needs and budget. PMA products cover four broad areas:
Economy Line – For basic functionality and economical pricing, this line includes panel-mounting minicontrollers for universal inputs (current, voltage, and various temperature sensors). They provide a variety of outputs, including digital logic, continuous analog signals, relay contacts, and alarms. They can be used for 2-point, 3-point, and continuous control, and have built-in timer, set-point ramp, and sleep functions.
Universal Line – This line includes compact panel-mounting temperature limiters and indicating controllers. These products feature analog and digital I/O, a front panel interface, menu-guided operation, and a programmer with search functions. Their high resolution, fast input scan rate, fast control algorithm (100ms), and short actuating pulses make them ideal for quick-acting control loops.
Built-in logic, self-tuning, and flexible outputs provide the flexibility for On/Off or continuous PID control. Controllers in PMA’s Universal Line can carry out interlocking and sequencing tasks that were previously handled by a PLC. Unlike other controllers, the Universal Line features an integrated maintenance manager that warns when an actuator has reached a predefined number of operating hours, or if an input needs recalibration. Direct links to fieldbus networks are possible via ModBus RTU.
Rail Line – PMA’s DIN-rail mounting line includes controllers, transmitters, and couplers that significantly reduce installation and wiring costs in distributed automation systems. The compact housings are less than one inch wide, with removable terminal strips for field connections. The local user interface features a multi-line LCD and simple 3-key operation, but nonetheless, provides comprehensive access to process variables and their adjustment.
Rail Line controllers offer features not previously available from DICG. PMA’s BlueControl® software package supplies a user-friendly interface that allows PC-based configuration, process value display, and graphical trend recording. A rail-mounted RS-485 module is available for direct bus connections to other rail line units using the Modbus RTU protocol. Field couplers are available for Profibus, CAN, Ethernet, etc. for connection to PLCs, IPCs, and operating terminals.
Advanced Line – PMA’s advanced multi-loop controllers and multi-function devices provide many sophisticated features, such as self-tuning to the setpoint without oscillation, valve control with position feedback and DAC monitoring, and rate of change monitoring, with fieldbus interfaces for centralized control systems. Few North American suppliers offer controllers with this level of sophistication.
This line includes the KS Vario System of multi-loop controller modules that are used to create open systems with up to 30 independently controlled zones. These components include control units, I/O modules, bus couplers, and power supplies that are simply plugged together, with all the inter-connections being made automatically. A panel-mounted touch-screen LCD terminal is also available for connection to the KS Vario System using any of the popular data communication networks. This terminal and its software allow password protected local configuration, recipe management, online trend display, and alarm processing.