Amplicon was approached to provide a strain monitoring system to monitor the load bearing characteristics on a ship based crane.
Multi channel datalogging is an area that Amplicon has a wealth of experience in. We were able to offer all of the electronics incuding datalogger, computer and software.
The initial requirement was to monitor and record 20 strain gauges at the top of a ship based crane and also look at a further 2 strain gauges and 1 accelerometer at the cranes base. The client wanted to log the changing properties of the crane when bearing a load bearing and to evaluate the results on a PC using software provided by Amplicon. There was also a limitation of split ring on the crane for the signals to cross allowing only 5 lines limiting the cabling options.
There was limited space for this project and the strain gauges were not easily accessible so a compact multichannel reliable system was necessary. We needed a data acquisition device, which provided local signal conditioning for the 20 strain gauges, and the 3 external signals which were 4-20mA as this is a preferred method for signals over distance. For this we decided to use the DT800 as it could take all the inputs directly. Due to the split ring the data acquisition was done close to the bulk of sensors leaving only 5 lines to cross as follows.
1. main data line out to external PC
2. power line in
3. external strain gauge in
4. external strain gauge in
5. external accelerometer in
We used Acromag 800T intellipak 4-20mA transmitters to condition and transmit the 3 external signals back to the DT800, which ensured all signals were directly comparable to one another.
For the analysis the DT800 sent the results to a PC via RS485 using two RS232 to RS485 converters to traverse the distance. DeLogger Pro was used on a PC. Designed for the DT800 it meant that the system was easily set-up and results were being taken in a very short timescale with no need for lengthy programming.
Amplicon was able to identify the customers requirements to enable a full solution was offered giving the customer the reassurance that they would have one point of contact for the solution provided.
The system was easy to install. Cabling used simple screw terminals and then wireless I/O. Hardware used DIN Rail mounting to hold it in firmly, all this gave the customer a low installation cost
Using wireless ethernet and modular distributed I/O meant that the system had the potential for expansion to a limitless amount of IO making it future proofed. Further analogue or digital modules could be easily incorporated to expand the system and offer other forms of I/O.
Had the client wanted us to we could have offered software packages and even programming services to complete a total solution offering.
Amplicon was seen as a good supplier as we are able to offer 40 years experience with data acquisition, industrial networking, and computing solutions. Talking to one of our application engineers a solution was put together that was easy to implement, to the required specification which was within budget.