The Importance of Data Logging (and How RMA PLUS™ Helps)
Data logging keeps a record of what happens in a system, and when. Though it is a pretty simple concept, its value often goes under-appreciated—especially in the design and purchase phases of an industrial process.
But taking data logging seriously has many potential benefits in industrial applications. Data collection and logging is critical, for example, when it comes to troubleshooting: If there is an anomaly in the data, that can provide clues as to what went wrong, where, when and why. But even outside of troubleshooting, data logging can put clients and partners at ease. For example, a medical or analytical lab might want to see data from the process that created a key part or section of material. Data logging allows such transparency.
When it comes to thermal systems, Watlow’s RMA PLUS™ is a simple solution that can provide flexible data logging capabilities, adding a level of transparency into your processes. (For a more complete solution, also see the ASPYRE DT and F4T® temperature controller.)
Data Logging in Thermal Systems with RMA PLUS
Many people choose an RMA PLUS device for its gateway functionality, but it also collects and logs data. The data collection process starts with the selection of any parameters in the product or any of the connected products.
This is key, because the RMA PLUS is capable of many different kinds of connections and connection protocols. For example, it can enable up to three Modbus® TCP sessions, three standard bus over Ethernet sessions and one standard bus over USB session—all within a single device. RMA PLUS can also serve as a gateway between Modbus® TCP and Modbus® RTU systems, providing connectivity even if your systems are not based on a proprietary Watlow® standard. (The ability to act as a Modbus® master was not available in the old EZ-ZONE® RM access module product.)
Because of this connectivity, the RMA PLUS can act not only as a gateway, but also as a kind of monitor of the local neighborhood of devices.
A sample data log from an RMA PLUS device
How to Set up Data Logging in RMA PLUS
When it comes time to set up data logging in RMA PLUS, Watlow can provide support. In most cases, though, users set up data logging in the RMA PLUS remote access module by themselves. While this can be done manually by uploading data files, the whole process is much easier using Watlow’s software tool, COMPOSER®.
Watlow’s COMPOSER software does a lot of the work to create, maintain and inspect data logging files, which, in turn,makes configuring data logging activities quick and seamless. COMPOSER’s capabilities extend to both the gateway functionality as well. These activities are accomplished through a helpful graphical interface and “dashboard” view.
The software also comes with tutorials, which make self-serve setup that much easier, and multi-language support, which helps prevent errors by communicating with users in their own
For More Information
If you are already working with an RMA PLUS device and simply want to know more, you can download the RMA PLUS user manual (2022).
On the other hand, if you are curious about the RMA PLUS’s capabilities and interconnectivity and want to learn more about these in depth, we recommend our white paper Fully Integrated and Flexible System for Thermal Control: Designing the RMA PLUS™.