Identifying the Components and Construction of the Autrol APT3500 Smart Pressure Transmitter

The Autrol APT 3500 Smart Pressure Transmitter is a microprocessor-based high-performance transmitter, which has flexible pressure calibration and output, automatic compensation of ambient temperature and process variable, a configuration of various parameters, communication with HART protocol. The application is very various, as measuring liquid, gas or steam flow as well as pressure and liquid level by an application method. All data of the sensor is to be input, modified and stored in EEPROM.

For more information about Autrol instrumentation, contact Hile Controls of Alabama.

Innovative DEVCOM 2000 Converts Ordinary Laptop PC's into Full-featured HART Communicator

ProComSol is the creator of the innovative DEVCOM 2000 SMART device communicator, a breakthrough that converts an ordinary laptop PC into a full-featured HART communicator. With the DEVCOM 2000 software and a HART modem you can configure transmitters and control valves on the bench or in the field quickly, easily and economically.

For unprecedented levels of convenience, efficiency, and safety, the DEVCOM 2000 system is also available with Bluetooth capability for communication with field devices. This can be handy for devices installed in unsafe or difficult to reach locations. ProComSol, which stands for "PROcess COMmunication SOLutions", is the leading provider of field-proven HART communication solutions for industrial applications, and was the first to deploy Bluetooth technology to configure and troubleshoot transmitters and control valves.

ProComSol developed the DEVCOM 2000 software on the PC platform because it offers the
advantages of a powerful and flexible, yet familiar and intuitive, tool to meet many of your industrial automation needs. For example, the PC can effectively store and present configuration tools user manuals, operating procedures, reports, and a host of other tools. Configurations can be saved as PDF files in order to keep a record of all up-to-date configurations of your devices. The PC makes it easy to integrate HART information into your reports and emails. This not only gives you the potential for system-wide productivity increases, but also eliminates the need to purchase and maintain a separate handheld HART communicator.

The DEVCOM 2000 software has been tested and proven by more than a thousand users in many industries including oil and gas refining, chemical and petrochemical, power generation,  water and wastewater, pharmaceuticals, pulp and paper, mining and metals, and food and beverage. Quality is an integral part of the design, development, and production of ProComSol products. Their quality management system has been certified to ISO 9001. 

Last, but not least, unlike handheld HART communicators that typically cost between $4000 and $7000 dollars, the DEVCOM 2000 system costs approximately $1000 and can be easily and economically upgraded to include additional functions as they become available. Each DEVCOM 2000 comes complete with warranty and free software upgrades during the first year of ownership.

The DEVCOM 2000 Windows Explorer interface is intuitive and easy to use. Menus's are clearly available, as are the variables list. Because it's on the computer screen, the menu structure can be expanded or contracted as required so there is no need to dig through small device menus to perform a task. With the full keyboard available, data entry is also easy. The computer screen continuously displays the variables, with items in bold being editable and items in grey being read-only. Edited variables are shaded in yellow, which means the variable has been edited but not yet committed to the device. After clicking on the send icon, the yellow shading goes away and the variable has been changed in the device. It's that simple.

HART Protocol's popularity is partially based on the ability to "get data out of the field device" through a data file called a Device Description (DD). The DEVCOM 2000 includes a list of DD's in the DEVCOM 2000 software. The DEVCOM 2000 uses the compiled device description binary file the DD developed by the device manufacturer and registered with the HART Communication Foundation. Each DD has been tested by the device manufacturer. This is an important point because we know that every DD will work with the device be it a transmitter or control valve. The Windows Explorer interface enables other DD's to be easily added in the field. In fact, because it's so easy to add DD's in the field, many device manufacturers are using DEVCOM 2000 to test new DDS that they are currently developing. The DD library is updated and published four times per year by the HART Communication Foundation and new DEVCOM 2000 updates are available shortly after. Updates can be downloaded for free from the ProComSol website during the one-year warranty period, and in subsequent years by paying a nominal library subscription fee.

For more about DEVCOM 2000 or any ProComSol product, contact Hile Controls of Alabama. They can be reached by phone at 800-536-0269 or by visiting

Hazardous Gas Detection: Selecting the Right Device

Sensepoint Flammable and Toxic Gas Detector
Sensepoint Flammable
and Toxic Gas Detector
Reprinted from an original article by Don Galman of Honeywell Analytics

There are many gas detection products on the market that might appear to be the same, but a closer inspection of specification, functionality and features reveals major differences in what products can do and the potential value they can offer. Similarly, individual applications are also unique in their respective designs, needs and processes undertaken.


Before beginning to consider gas detection equipment, a risk assessment needs to be conducted. Any company employing staff has the obligation to conduct risk assessments to identify potential hazards and these can include potential gas, vapor or Oxygen deficiency risks. If gas hazards are identified, gas detection is applicable as a risk reduction method.


Depending on the processes being undertaken and the gases being detected, remote or off-site alarm notification plus event data logging/reporting may also be required for Health and Safety management records. Another factor impacting on the need for enhanced reporting functions might be regulatory compliance or a condition of insurance.


Having identified the primary objective, the suitable equipment is selected by asking a number of key questions. These fall into three broad categories:

  • The gases to be detected and where they may come from
  • The location and environmental conditions where detection is to take place
  • The ease of use for operators and routine servicing personnel

Honeywell Analytics XNX Universal Transmitter
Honeywell Analytics XNXUniversal Transmitter

The gases to be detected should be identified by the risk assessment, however experienced gas detection equipment manufacturers and their approved distributors are often able to help in this process, based on their experience of similar applications. However, it is important to remember that it is the end-user’s responsibility to identify all potential hazards.

It is also essential to identify the potential source of a gas release as this helps determine the number and location of detectors required for a fixed gas detection system.


The performance, accuracy and reliability of any gas detection equipment will be affected by the environmental conditions it is subjected to. Temperature, humidity and pressure levels at the location all have a direct bearing on the type of equipment that should be selected. Additional factors such as potential variations resulting from a production process itself, diurnal/nocturnal fluctuations and seasonal changes may also affect the type of device which is suitable.


The next area of consideration relates to additional product functionality. Aspects like wiring configuration are important, especially when retro-fitting into an existing application. If the apparatus is being integrated into a separate safety system, certain communication protocols may also be required such as HART®, Lonworks or Modbus®.

Consideration will also need to be given regarding the requirement for local displays on transmitter units and local configuration of the unit and gas displays may also be a useful addition.


Routine maintenance is another important consideration. Some gases and vapors can be detected with a number of different sensing technologies, e.g. Hydrocarbon gases with catalytic beads or Non-dispersive Infrared NDIR. Catalytic beads do not provide fail-to-safety operation and therefore can require a high frequency of routine maintenance, however NDIR based solutions tend to have a higher initial purchase price, but may require less routine maintenance. In-house resource to undertake such routine maintenance needs to be identified and in the absence of such a resource, budgeting for third party maintenance is an important factor in selecting the right equipment.

For more information about Honeywell Analytics gas detection solutions, contact Hile Controls of Alabama by visiting their web site ( or calling 800-536-0269.