‘One core’ technology powers next generation IS isolators
31 March 2008
MTL has introduced two new isolator ranges; one is DIN-rail mounted and the other is backplane-mounted. Both are based on the same proprietary technology that makes for extensive use of high-volume automated manufacturing (see Figure 1).
The heart and soul of intrinsic safety is the isolation transformer, but this is a component that is cumbersome and labour intensive to manufacture. MTL looked for a better way and came up with a planar transformer design that builds the primary into the circuit board while the core and secondary windings are attached during the high speed assembly process (Figure 2).
MTL says its new modules achieve a significant reduction in power consumption while increasing channel packing densities. Other user benefits include three-port isolation, low power dissipation and a quick install/release mechanism.
The modules can be used for a wide variety of interface tasks for process instrumentation, routing all signal wiring through removable, coded connectors which facilitates fast installation and simple maintenance procedures. By sharing common connector elements, the MTL5500 Series modules can directly replace MTL5000 Series devices, thus keeping system downtime to a minimum. Likewise MTL4500 are compatible with the earlier MTL4000 series.
‘We have always been recognised as a technology leader and the introduction of these new intrinsic safety isolators will reinforce that reputation,’ says Dermot Coady, Marketing Director of MTL. ‘With project timescales and constraints becoming ever tighter, control system vendors and end-users are looking for a source they can trust to deliver and implement their IS interface requirements quickly and effectively. Through the innovative use of transformer technology and other advanced electronics, our engineers have produced a product that meets these needs.’
The backplane mounted MTL4500 Series is designed with the requirements of system vendors in mind, for applications such as Distributed Control Systems (DCS), Emergency Shutdown Systems (ESD) and Fire and Gas monitoring (F&G). The reduced power consumption and high efficiency of the isolators enables high signal densities to be achieved, together with improved freedom in cabinet layout and design.
The MTL5500 Series is DIN-rail mounting and meets the needs of the IS interface market for single instrument loops, through various combinations and enclosures, to fully equipped cabinets across all industries where hazardous areas exist. Within the slim, compact housing, the range of module options contains both single and multiple channel devices.
Figure 1: The MTL5500 series are mounted on DIN-rail modules placed between the hazardous area trunking and the DCS termination unit (above). These are generally used in smaller ‘project focused’ systems where the DCS wiring is already in place. The backplane-mounted MTL4500 series (below) is for larger ‘project focused’ DCS applications where I/O counts and densities may be high. These are intended to function as the DCS termination unit, so that the hazardous area trunking is wired directly to them and a multicore cable carries the signals directly to the DCS.
Figure 2: The new planar transformer design builds the primary circuits into the circuit board and the secondary windings, shown here are attached during the high speed manufacturing process. The iron cores have not been added in this view.
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