More efficiency by linking display pressure switches and smartphones – Trafag DPS/DPC

Electronic pressure switches with display (display pressure switches) have existed for many years and are now available in a variety of versions. Considered in terms of the product life cycle, these products are now in the third stage of development: During the initial phase, new features and designs were the main focus, while cost-cutting measures marked the second phase. In the current third phase, the devices are equipped with additional connectivity (communication possibilities) and, in part, with their own intelligence. In addition to general technological developments, this development is mainly driven by the megatrends of the IoT (Internet of Things) and Industry 4.0.

While many companies are concentrating on the connectivity of sensors and controls, mainly through the integration of communication interfaces and protocols, Trafag took a different route: the connection from the sensor to the human being. Trafag consistently pursued the mobile-first approach and placed the focus for the parameterization of the DPS/DPC on a smartphone app. In contrast to the integrated 3-button operation with a 4-digit display, using the smartphone app one can navigate via the graphical user interface quickly and intuitively. In the industrial environment, these advantages of direct connection between humans and sensors over a smartphone can be used to increase efficiency and quality.

Parameterization during testing and commissioning

Who doesn’t want that? The switch point parameters are defined by design, but during commissioning it becomes clear that optimizations are still necessary. Thanks to the possibilities of a smartphone and the new App from Trafag it is now much easier to adjust the switching points. In addition, different parameter sets can be stored so a previously stored parameter profile can be loaded back to the pressure switch very quickly or sent to other measuring instruments. Compared to the conventional parameterization via VDMA three-button operations, this is much faster and more efficient, and thanks to the copying option, the error rate is eliminated.

Simplified stock handling

To facilitate the reduction of spare parts for maintenance, the Trafag display pressure switches are ideal; the 2:1 turn-down capability makes it possible to adjust the measuring range down to 50% of the nominal range, thus scaling the desired analogue signal to the individual measuring range required.

The parameters can be adapted without power to the instrument! NFC (Near Field Communication), and not Bluetooth or WLAN, acts as the interface. This allows the replacement service or the service personnel to parameterize or check the instruments out of the box and unpowered.

Easy re-parameterization in the service case

The need for service is simplified by direct access to the device parameters without intervention in the control system. Thus, as a first error analysis, the operator can send the set parameters by e-mail to the customer, who then checks whether the settings are correct. Another feature which is very useful in this case is the integrated logging function of the device, which records and stores the measured pressure with a time and date stamp. This measured data can be transferred via the NFC as a CSV file to the smartphone, and then sent by e-mail and be evaluated, for example in Excel. In addition to system diagnostics, the integrated logger function offers even more interesting applications, and can be used can be used in situations where the installation of a conventional measurement data acquisition would not be worthwhile.

Security issue

The downside of easy access to parameterization is, of course, the security issue. Here, however, the close proximity range of NFC, offers considerable advantages over WLAN or Bluetooth. Protocols that operate with greater proximity are less secure, access can possibly be gained from outside the factory, making complex encryption technologies necessary. Since NFC has a range of a few millimetres, it doesn’t work without direct access to the device. Access to the display pressure switch can be protected by means of a four-digit code, which also prevents unauthorized NFC access.

These examples show how the introduction of new technology, by combining smartphones and electronic pressure switches, introduces new ways for enterprises to easily capture data by simple and efficient means, reducing inventory, bureaucracy and cost, to become more efficient, repeatable and competitive.

Trafag UK Limited

0203 968 0020


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