Paperless or Electronic chart recorders


Thread Starter

Larry Cater

Does anyone have any recommendations or recent experiences for paperless/electronic replacements for traditional paper strip- or circular-chart recorders? The archives of this esteemed list have entries last dated Oct1998 on this topic.

I have several general needs:
Should be networkable, preferably through ethernet
Should be compatible with PLCs, and preferably able to communicate with them using ethernet or serially (mostly A-B protocols, but some MODBUS) Scalability is important, in two(2) ways:
number of points stored and ability to grow into an HMI (e.g. PanelView) replacement, with appropriate HW/SW upgrades
Standard input point types (4-20mA, 0-5 Volts, etc...)

I've started to check the standard vendors: Honeywell, Foxboro, Bailey...., but I seem to want more features than they can provide.
I'm hoping that someone has already done the legwork, and is willing to share.

Thanx in advance........Larry

Pierre Desrochers

Check Nematron (hardware) / Nemasoft (software) ... they have just this type of products. One good thing would be to also check with your AB rep. they have with there Encompass alliance a very broad list of products.

How about any of the standard HMI packages that has a data historian? This could pull data out of nearly any PLC, and still do the charting,
etc. We cannot use these for any of our critical loops due to FDA restrictions, but we have 2 RSView32 stations that monitor non-critical loops and they work well. Also, this is already a HMI,
so the panelviews can be replaced by a PC. For the PC, we have had excellent results from Advantech.

--Joe Jansen
We use one from Invensys EPA group , same family as Foxboro, It is a color Touch screen, with Alarm and event handler, a floppy drive and option for extended memory card. supports remote i/o and Modbus. it is a T800 controller/recorder e-mail with your info and I can send you .pdf file cutsheet
Mark Massa
[email protected]


Look at Genesis TrendWorx 32. It is capable of displaying circle charts, strip charts, etc. as well as log and linear. It is OPC compliant and will interface with Modbus. It is also available in a CE version.
Regards, Art Bourdeau
[email protected]
Phone: 518-765-3667 Fax: 518-765-4033 Mobil: 518-573-4745

Dave Ferguson

i am not sure how detailed you need to get but we are usng RSTrend networked using ethernet to ethernet PLC5's and get fairly good data rates. But compared to what ?

Dave Ferguson
Blandin Paper Company
DAVCO Automation
At our company, we've found a "flight recorder" product -- called PDA -- to be quite useful.
Although primarily directed at interfacing to Siemens PLC equipment, it has Profibus (and other common) interfaces available.
For more information, see:

Steve Reiner
Systems Engineer
Logan Aluminum, Inc.
PO Box 3000
US Highway 431 North
Russellville, KY 42276

Office ph: 270-755-6710
Office fax: 270-755-6310

mailto:[email protected]
mailto:[email protected]
I agree with some of the other respondants that this sort of stuff is now in the realm of the modern HMI, hooked up to a suitable sized PLC.

Our touch screen HMI's have over 50 PLC protocols including the Modbus and AB PLCs you mentioned. We have both trend graphing (pen-recording) and data logging (spreadsheet style) where the data is stored to either battery backed SRAM or Compact Flash cards (CF). You can then either print the data out directly or swap the CF card.

Another option is to add an ethernet card, then using our Proserver DDE/OPC server software on a PC you can monitor the data on-line, paste it into a live Excel spreadsheet or VB application.

You can check out our website at:

If you need any help, feel free to contact me.
If you're looking for something simple, try the Eurotherm Chessell 5000 series. The learning curve is about a couple of hours, the actual programming can be finished by the end of the day.

My experience is that it will accomplish all your needs at a very reasonable cost.