New ROUTE-MASTER TM Series 100 Fieldbus System Out-Powers FISCO with Intrinsically-Safe Isolated Power Supply

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A Robust 350mA per segment means more power for more devices at greater distances for DCS installations in hazardous environments.

For process management and process control engineers who are frustrated using fieldbus within hazardous environments, MooreHawke -- a division of Moore Industries-International, interface solution experts based in North Hills, California - announces the immediate availability of its new ROUTE-MASTER Series 100 (RM100) System that features an intrinsically-safe, isolated power supply that goes beyond FISCO operating parameters with a full 350mA per segment; enough to drive up to 16 devices, even in hydrogen-risk areas. This high current also enables the RM100 to power devices over the industry's longest cable segments -- up to 1900 meters -- adding increased flexibility in wiring up plants using FOUNDATION fieldbus and PROFIBUS PA networks.

Unlike complex FISCO power supplies that only provide 115mA in high-risk areas, the FM approved ROUTE-MASTER Series 100 system leverages its 350mA to power up to 16 devices per segment compared to the four typically allowed using barriers, or five using FISCO designs. This capability allows process control engineers to take full advantage of their FOUNDATION fieldbus, or PROFIBUS PA, PLC segments.

Using a patented split architecture design the RM100 system sets new standards in powering FOUNDATION fieldbus or PROFIBUS PA devices, by taking practical field wiring issues into account. This permits normal segment design rules, and use of normal entity approved intrinsically safe devices. The H1 segment from DCS I/O card is wired directly to the trunk isolator module terminals (one of eight). When the RM100 takes in the signal from the DCS, the first step is to transformer-isolate the signal, thereby isolating the segment from ground. The field trunk connection is available via the lower terminals on the isolator module and requires no ground, making the system easy to install.

The second part of the split architecture design is called a device coupler and is mounted in the field close to a group of devices. This coupler can be mounted anywhere in Class I Division 1 Group C, D with up to 120-meter spurs from devices located in CLASS I Division 1 Group A, B, C, D. The RMA100 series of device coupler features automatic termination and auto-resetting short circuit protection using a fold back technique that uses just 2mA when a short is detected. The series of device couplers include a variety of inputs and enclosures (Nema 4X) complete with appropriate cable glands.

The RM100 system has 99.99993% availability because of the use of passive components. It can be wired to provide dual outputs from the same segment input. This minimizes segment voltage drop while maximizing the power available in the field. When specified for redundancy, the AC transformer and DC regulator cards are completely duplicated, with each set capable of independently supporting the full rack load. The cards are "hot swappable" so that replacement will not cause any interruption in communications.

The RM100 System delivers the highest segment current of any intrinsically-safe system with the largest number of devices and/or the longest segment cable, making it the ideal selection for process management and control engineers looking to install intrinsically safe fieldbus networks in plants that process chemicals, pharmaceuticals, petroleum and other products whose production may involve hazardous environments.

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Harry Wilson
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