New terminal automation products at StocExpo 2022

It was a long time coming but finally Contrec were able to unveil their new terminal automation products, LoadPro Load Controller and Trac-50 Truck register to the tank storage market. StocExpo returned once again to Rotterdam last month and with Covid restrictions being lifted thousands of industry professionals, including representatives from the likes of Shell and Vopak, as well as key terminals and storage players from over 100 countries worldwide flocked to the Ahoy exhibition centre in Rotterdam.

terminal automation

Contrec’s new terminal automation solutions include LoadPro™ a single arm load controller. Ideally suited to smaller fuel depots and chemical plants, LoadPro™ provides a safe and accurate solution for loading fuels, chemicals and any fluids into tankers. Easily integrated with Datamod™ Contrec’s own simple to use reporting software or with most commercial TAS systems, the full alpha numeric keyboard has  capabilities of Dual Stage, Digital Valve, and Analogue Valve Control for the reliable and accurate delivery of preset quantities.

For off-truck metering, Contrec’s new advanced Truck Register, Trac-50 ensures every drop is accounted for when delivering your valuable assets. Our instruments are approved to international metrology standards when used as part of an approved metering system and can be supplied as cab/field mounting (safe area) or trailer mounted where hazardous area approvals are required. Our new Trac–50 is an intelligent off-loading controller for the safe and accurate discharge of chemicals, fuels and other liquids from trucks, railcars, barges and portable metering trolleys. Superseding the popular Trac-40, the new model comes with a host of new features and communication options, to make off-loading of these expensive commodities safe, secure and fully traceable.

In addition to this Contrec offer a range of solutions for blending/additive control – the 515-BR and 515-CB applications offer secure blending flow control designed to measure the volume flow in a main and process line using frequency flow inputs to determine the net volume flow. The operator can easily view and change the batch values of totals as well as the ratio of flow rates. The flow rate, deadband and control responsiveness can be adjusted to reduce wear on valves and plant. For additive dosing Contrec’s 515-TA01/02 Dual Channel On-Truck Additive Batch Controllers are designed to allow an operator (driver) to pre-dose the appropriate amount of either of two additives into tanker compartments in accordance with the Load schedule. Operating either from the control room or in the hazardous area at the point of loading, our flow controllers ensure you get the correct blend in every compartment, on every truck, every time. For more information on our terminal automation solutions for additive and blending control click here

 

Craig Naylor, Contrec’s Sales Director said“Contrec have a long history of producing high quality dependable loading and unloading controllers, and we were delighted to reconnect with the petroleum and chemical storage, terminal and distribution industries by releasing our LoadPro™ and Trac-50 instruments at StocExpo in Rotterdam recently.  The exhibition was a great way to announce our return into these markets and show our latest product ranges.  In a constantly changing industry it was fantastic to meet so many new people on the stand with exciting applications as the world looks to develop it’s renewal strategies and carbon neutrality. It also gave us a great opportunity to catch up with so many familiar faces, and we came away from the show delighted with the reception our new instruments received and excited about the future with Contrec continuing to be an important player in the loading automation business for many years to come”

For more information on Contrec’s terminal automation solutions, call us on +44 1422 829944 or email sales@contrec.co.uk

 

 

 

Moving on up!

The new year saw demolition begin on our new site in Brighouse, West Yorkshire. The 11,000 sq ft new site will house a purpose-built production and manufacturing facility, servicing areas, extensive product storage, training centre and sales offices. Situated in Brighouse it is ideally placed near the motorway network and between Manchester and Leeds Bradford Airports.

Contrec staff raise over £3000 for the Alzheimers Society

Last Saturday Contrec’s Marketing Manager Lucy Wood took on the arduous 25 mile Yorkshire three peaks challenge to raise money for the Alzheimer’s Society, the UK’s leading dementia charity.  Despite the high winds and rain and hail on the day (and one injured party!) Lucy, Jo and Kim, climbed Ingleborough, Whernside and Pen Y Ghent in just less than 10 hours!  Raising just over £3000 for this amazing cause. Well done girls!

Coronavirus Update 07-09-20

Contrec have implemented many changes during these uncertain times to protect our colleagues, suppliers and visitors to our offices. Throughout the Covid-19 epidemic, we have maintained a manufacturing presence and distribution for the many essential manufacturers out there who were increasing production or shifting their operations in order to produce increased quantities of sanitizer, hand wash and other products essential in helping the fight against Coronavirus. Contrec instruments play a crucial role in chemical, pharmaceutical production in accurately monitoring and blending liquids.
Thank you to all our customers and suppliers through these difficult times, and we look forward to being of mutual service throughout 2020 and beyond.

DataMod & Contrec, both IoT ready, welcome to the new 1.3.000 software release.

Contrec’s DataMod software package continues to evolve, and like most of Contrec’s development over the years new features have initially been developed for specific customer projects before being added to a general release. The benefit of this is that you know the features have real and genuine purpose and you can have confidence that not only are they expertly engineered, but that they have already been properly field tested before being released to the wider market.

In this DataMod release 1.3.000, we offer a host of new features, such as:

• Continued Improved User Interface as we take on feedback and DataMod gets wider uses
• Email Alerts for Auto and Live data collection applications
• Delivery Numbers can now used to specify the range of data collection for Load & Batch applications
• Stored Configuration Records for easy load and re-use to allow data collections from multiple 515 field instruments to be made much faster   and simpler, including with clear feedback when changes are made
• Easy Creation and Management of Configuration Records that hold all the settings to suit each individual field instrument or type of report      required.
• Stored Locations Remembered for CSV files and report templates making file handling faster.
• Further IoT Support and Readiness with refined TCP/IP interface being easier to configure and store separate IP addresses, falling in line       with the release of the new 515 Ethernet option card.

Read below our DataMod Case Study which highlights the benefits of the new software release and shows DataMod and Contrec are both IoT ready.

In this case the real field application involves two 515-LC01 Loading stations on a site where there is no access to any communication networks, their head office is over 3000 km away and needs to get weekly reports of all delivery transactions. Each loading station does approximately 80 deliveries a week to up to 50 different customers. On a Monday each week DataMod which is installed at the head office is used to collect the previous week’s delivery records. DataMod has access to both 515 field instruments as a result of Contrec moving comfortably into the new world of IoT.

These communications are via a combination of a secure and encrypted Virtual Private Network (VPN) on a Contrec managed internet cloud server, through to the cellular network to a 4G field gateway module with its own dedicated IP address. The particular gateway used has an RS485 port to which both 515 instruments are connected with their own Modbus RTU address. A VPN client and certificate (issued by Contrec) is installed on the computer where DataMod software is also installed. DataMod with its built in Modbus TCP/IP protocol has a stored configuration record for each field instrument with all the communication and address settings and custom text etc, specific to each instrument.
(In this project Contrec Systems supplied the IoT solution as a package, including the VPN server and client software and certificates, plus the configured 4G gateway with data subscription and IP addresses.)

When the DataMod operator is ready, they simply start the VPN connection, open DataMod and click to load the stored configuration for the required instrument. Once they establish connection this will show the most recent delivery number and then specify the delivery range required for the week’s report, before clicking again to start collecting.
When collection is complete the operator generates a PDF report with their own custom template and saves the data as a CSV file to integrate into their own inventory and reporting system.

From over 3000 kms away, the customer has a very economical and simple way to get the instrument delivery data and is able to see exactly what loads and volumes occurred and which client they were allocated to.

To see for yourself how easily DataMod can work with the wide range of Contrec 515 applications to help you keep control of your operations, click here to get your 15-Day Fully Functional Free Trial

New Ethernet Port for the 515 Series

Ethernet Port

Contrec are delighted to announce that the 515 series Flow Instruments can now be ordered with an optional Ethernet port.

Ideal where there is an existing LAN (Local Area Network) or WAN (Wide Area Network) in place, it now simplifies the communication network and avoids the need for an external 3rd party Serial to Ethernet converter. The 515 can now connect into the network with its dedicated IP address making access to flow and batch data quick and simple without the large installed costs associated with running individual cabling from production areas back to the control room. Having an Ethernet port offers a stable, consistent signal compared to Wi-Fi installations, and is also a more secure and controlled environment for transmission of important data.
The Contrec 515 Ethernet port provides an ideal access route to our own DataMod software tool, making visibility of measurement and control information, data analysis and management decision making even quicker. 

For more information on our Ethernet options – Email sales@contrec.co.uk or call us on +44 1422 829944.

505 Series Instruments now integrated in to popular 515 range

From immediate effect the 505 Series range of instruments will now be integrated in to the popular 515 series. 

A number of components used in the manufacture of the Contrec 505 Series instrumentation have become obsolete and so we have taken the decision to migrate the 505 applications to the more advanced 515 platform with immediate effect.

The main benefits are:

• Same instrument housing, display and operator interface
• Selectable analogue or pulse input during configuration (hence versions  02 and 04 deleted)
• Universal mains power supply (100 – 240 VAC)
• Optional density input (live or manual value) so Volume and Mass can be displayed (FC applications only)
• Increased logging capability
• Compatible with Contrec DataMod Software Tool

We are pleased to advise that there will be no price increases to the FC and BC base model instruments.

Please don’t hesitate to contact your local Contrec Service Centre if you require any further information.

Any previously supplied Contrec 505 Series instruments will be fully supported by Contrec’s standard 3-year warranty period from date of supply.

To view the full range of 515 Instruments Click Here

 

Contrec release new DataMod 1.2.000 software now with Inbuilt Modbus TCP/IP protocol plus many more features and benefits!

                        

Contrec’s new DataMod release 1.2.000 introduces a host of new features designed to make it even easier for engineers and managers using Contrec 515 instruments, to collect data, generate reports and automatically produce delivery dockets.

Since its release in 2017, Contrec’s DataMod software has been helping engineers and managers quickly and easily view and record what’s happening in their plant. No need for expensive customised SCADA packages, Contrec’s DataMod software tool has proved itself to be a one-size-fits-all solution allowing you to extract critical live or logged operating data from your Contrec 515 instruments installed in the field and to generate reports and spreadsheets quickly and easily.

Giving you much more

The latest DataMod 1.2.000 release sees additions such as Inbuilt Modbus TCP/IP protocol giving engineers the ability to connect via TCP/IP protocol without using third party software, making the process of configuration, connection and communication with remote instruments via Ethernet so much simpler.

Another great new feature relates to 515 Batch and Load applications, as DataMod can now continually monitor the 515 controller and allow managers of standalone systems to automatically generate and print a default or customised report (Delivery Docket or Bill of Lading) at the end of a delivery. This becomes a highly economical and efficient way to generate accurate and professional reports, with the convenient option of printing automatically on the computer’s existing office printer.

For a full list of the additional features and benefits that DataMod 1.2.000 has to offer please see below:

  • Collect Live Data – Applicable to General applications, DataMod now allows time-based data to be collected directly from a 515 Flow Computer/Controller on significantly smaller time periods than the 515’s internal hourly logging and can be set to collect up to 500 logs for a single report.
  • Auto Collect Data – Applicable to Load and Batch applications, DataMod now allows delivery data to be automatically collected directly from a 515 Load or Batch Controller. DataMod monitors the 515 controller to collect the data automatically as soon as a delivery is complete. The Rollover number (max 500) sets the number of deliveries to be included in the one report.
  • Auto Save Reports – Applicable to any setup using the Rollover number. Whenever a rollover occurs a report is saved in PDF and CSV format. This allows DataMod to operate unmanned or remotely, generating reports and saving them in the designated folder for later access.
  • Auto Print Reports – Applicable to any setup using Auto Save Reports this now allows DataMod to automatically print a Report to the host computers default office printer. In Load applications this provides a neat way for a driver/operator to collect the Delivery Docket directly from the control office or gate house printer without any interaction with the office computer or the DataMod program.
  • BOL Style Report Templates – Applicable to LP or LC Load applications, using the Load Template feature, a ‘free of charge’ default Bill of Lading style template can be selected to provide a very professional report with the minimum fuss. Your Contrec Service Centre can be contacted to have this template further tailored for a specific customer’s needs with company name, logo and product details etc.
  • View Last Auto Report – Applicable to any setup using the rollover number, this allows an operator to get quick access to the last delivery (BOL in loading applications) to view or get an additional printout.
  • Streamlining Setup and Smarter User Interface
    – Refined “Data Collection Options” & “Modbus Setup” screens to make initial configuration easier.
    – On initial comms ‘Connection’ with the instrument, DataMod prompts the operator to start collection (alerting the user to either start       collecting data or pause to adjust customizable tags)
    – Customizable Unit Tags included into reports.
    – Detection of 515 unit application type (Load/Batch/General) & informing about mismatching.
  • Inbuilt Modbus TCP/IP protocol -There is now the ability to connect via TCP/IP protocol without using third party software, making the process of configuration, connection and communication with remote instruments via Ethernet so much simpler. Ethernet connection can be via direct cable, Intranet (LAN) or Internet (Wired or Wireless 3G/4G). The use of TCP/IP communications to remote instruments, now gives the ability for the data in a 515 Flow Computer or Controller to be accessed by DataMod from almost anywhere in the world.
    (Note: Current 515 instruments will require an external Serial to TCP/IP device, however, Contrec will soon release a 515 option card with its own Ethernet connection.)

 

To see for yourself how easily DataMod can work with the wide range of Contrec 515 applications to help you keep control of your plant, click here to get your 15-Day Fully Functional Free Trial

Contrec take part in local Soapbox Race in raising over £6,000 for Overgate Hospice

The Directors and staff from Contrec, Flowquip and Flowhire recently took part in the local Soapbox race held at our Triangle cricket club. The event saw local individuals and businesses designing and building their own vehicle to take part in the race which raised over £6,000 for Overgate hospice. The vehicle (designed and built by our own management team) must have steering and braking capability and teams are judged on both the time taken to complete the course, along with the creativity of their design and the showmanship of a performance at the start of the race, meaning the team with the fastest time is not necessarily the winner.

It was a great day, and despite our production Director Tom writing off the car on the timed race, lots of money was raised for a great local charity!

https://www.overgatehospice.org.uk/home/

The Art of Communication – Modbus

 

Our software engineer Eugene Babenko give us the lowdown on addressing issues and provides some guidance when communicating to Contrec’s 212, 505 and 515 Instruments via Modbus protocol.

 

Contrec customers rarely have issues when connecting their instruments to PLC’s and back office data systems; when configuring Contrec devices our documentation explains simple set up procedures for inputs and outputs. However, even though this is the case when connecting devices via Modbus RTU protocol it is important to pay special attention to the correct master software settings for register number and byte/word ordering for 32-bit data such as floating point values and long integers. The points of attention are:

  • The Modbus.org documentation refers to “one-based” register numbering. However, the addresses that are actually sent in a Modbus command message are “zero-based”.
  • The Modbus.org specification doesn’t define exactly how the data is stored in the registers. As a result, 32-bit data could be (arbitrarily) arranged in four different ways.

Incorrect settings can lead to either completely wrong readings for 32-bit data (which is easily detected) or, in some situations, it can produce subtle and inconsistent readings that look almost as a correct value, but may not update when expected and/or have slight deviation from the expected (displayed) value – this may happen when both register numbering and byte/word order are incorrectly set, so that the data reading becomes a mixture of two adjacent different data points.

The Contrec documentation should be carefully followed on when setting master software. If in doubt, the user should test various master software settings until matching with the displayed value is achieved – most programs for communicating with Modbus slaves have flexibility to be configured for different register byte/word order for 32-bit data and a choice of “one-based” or “zero-based” register numbering.

Further information can be found in https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Modbus  article, see below excerpts from the article:

Implementations

Almost all implementations have variations from the official standard. Different varieties might not communicate correctly between equipment of different suppliers. Some of the most common variations are:

What is byte and word ordering?

The Modbus specification doesn’t define exactly how the data is stored in the registers. Therefore, some manufacturers implemented Modbus in their equipment to store and transmit the higher byte first followed by the lower byte. (AE before 41). Alternatively, others store and transmit the lower byte first (41 before AE).

Similarly, when registers are combined to represent 32-bit data types, some devices store the higher 16 bits (high word) in the first register and the remaining low word in the second (AE41 before 5652) while others do the opposite (5652 before AE41)

It doesn’t matter which order the bytes or words are sent in, as long as the receiving device knows which way to expect it.

For example, if the number 2,923,517,522 was to be sent as a 32 bit unsigned integer, it could be arranged any of these four ways.

                                                                                          
     AE41 5652       high byte first        high word first
     5652 AE41       high byte first        low word first
     41AE 5256       low byte first          high word first
     5256 41AE       low byte first          low word first

Confusion about Register Addresses

In the Modbus.org standard documents, holding register addresses are given a prefix of “4” to distinguish them from other register types. For example, in their documentation a holding register at address 1001 is referred to by “41001”. However, the leading “4” is not really part of the address and most programs dispense with this extra prefix, especially when the program context makes it clear that it is referring to a holding register. Also, the Modbus.org standard documents refer to register addresses using “one-based” numbering. However, the addresses that are actually sent in a Modbus command message are “zero-based”. For example, to read register 1001, the address that is actually sent in the command message is 1000.

Confusion about Little-Endian vs. Big-Endian Word Order

Although Modbus.org standard documents provide some guidance for implementing the Modbus protocol, they do not address the question of word order beyond the 16-bit register level. For the 16-bit register values, the most significant byte always precedes the least significant byte (in other words, the register value is transferred in Big-Endian byte order). This is because when the Modbus standard was created in the late 1970’s, most processors used a Big-Endian memory architecture (where the most significant part of a multi-byte value is stored at a lower memory address). However when the need for transferring 32-bit (i.e. 4 byte) values with the Modbus protocol later came about in the 1980’s, Little-Endian Intel processors dominated the PC market so most vendors chose to map the least significant word onto the lower address of the register pair.

This lack of standardization for values larger than 16 bits has resulted in a situation where Modbus implementers have to make an arbitrary choice as to which address of the register pair contains the most significant word of 32-bit values such as IEEE-754 single-precision floats and signed or unsigned 32-bit integers. Most programs for communicating with Modbus slaves can be configured for either register word order.

Product Focus – Batch Controllers

 

What are Batch Controllers?

Batch Controllers are used for the accurate dispensing and measurement of fluids for a variety of industries from food and beverage to truck loading. 

Contrec’s accurate and reliable batch controllers range from the 400 series ideal for Intermediate Bulk Containers (IBC), drum and container filling and food processing to the 515 series instruments, suitable for more complex batching applications.

 

Contrec Batch Controllers

Contrec’s 515 series delivers highly accurate field controllers for the process and petroleum industries. It utilises a common, advanced hardware and the functionality is determined by software which is tailored to individual applications. This allows multiple channels and outputs to be configured; allowing applications such as additive injection, ratio blending, temperature and density corrected batching to be easily configured.

For example, our Batch/Ratio Process Controller (BR01) application is a batch ratio controller for the delivery of two products into a vessel at specific preset (but adjustable) ratios using volumetric frequency inputs. Batch control can operate in preset or on-off modes, while flow control can be set to various loop control modes. It offers single or dual stage control as well as no flow, leakage and overflow error detection. Additionally it has a remote run/stop/reset function. As with all the 515 Series batch controllers the BR01 is suitable for use in control room, field mounting or hazardous areas.

Introduced in 1992, our 400 Series quickly became the industry standard for accurate and reliable flow monitoring and control. In fact, many of those early instruments are still in service today. However, we continue to look at innovative ways to make good flowmeters even better and so our field proven 400 Series has recently received an upgrade. Taking many of the best features of the 400 Series, such as the large LCD displays, rugged reliability and auto run and flow alarm features, we’ve added many more features to the 424 Batch Controller model as standard.

The new 424 Batch Controller will interface to most flowmeters with pulse or frequency outputs. Batch total, flow rate, accumulated total and preset value can all be displayed in engineering units on the large LCD display. The instrument comes fitted with both RS232 and RS485 communication outputs which to allow it to print delivery tickets and also be monitored and/or controlled remotely from the control room.

The 430D Batch Controller, for example, is suited to applications where precise measurement and control of variable batch quantities are required. Batch quantities and calibration parameters are entered via a full 12-key numeric keypad. A bright LED display provides an excellent operator interface even in dimly lit environments.

Contrec has an international reputation for delivering accurate and reliable field controllers. Our instruments continue to prove themselves in the field; years after their installation.

14/02/18 – Contrec 515 series – 7 New Applications Added

We have recently released 7 new applications for the Contrec 515 Series of Flow Computers and Batch Controllers, giving the you more flexibility for your flow applications.  

Contrec 515 Series

 

The 515 Series flow controllers are easy-to-use, easy to understand and offers exceptional flexibility over many applications. This controller is the most advanced model in the Contrec 500 Series range. It has more inputs and outputs of higher accuracy, giving it a greater capability and configurability to suit a wide range of applications. There are multiple frequency and analogue inputs which make the controller suitable for applications that require external sensors for temperature, pressure, density, level devices and many other applications.
The Contrec 515 series is capable of operating in a wide range of temperature ranges and its plug and play option card makes enhancements easy to undertake without reprogramming. The behavior of the instrument is determined by the function software which is selected from an increasing list of applications in the 500 series program manager.

New applications for the Contrec 515 Series include:

515-BS03 Secure Batch Controller for Mass frequency flowmeters
515-BT01 Temperature Compensated Batch Controller for Volumetric frequency flowmeters
515-AC01 Additive Controller for Volumetric frequency flowmeters
515-CS02 Steam/Condensate Flow Computer – Analog flowmeter in Steam line
515-CS12 Steam/Condensate Flow Computer – Analog flowmeter in Condensate
515-MP01 Master Proving – Volume Frequency Flow, Temperature & Pressure inputs
515-MP02 Master Proving – Mass Frequency Flow, Temperature & Pressure inputs

All the information on these new applications can be found by clicking on the links above, or downloading our 500 Series program manager.