Comparison: Eurotherm 6100A vs Honeywell Minitrend GR data recorder
If you ask me what has been the most difficult product reviews and comparison so far, I’d have to say this set. These graphic recorders have a lot of features and small details, so many I can’t cover them all! Don’t worry; I focused on the most relevant, so these posts should give you a good place to start.
Today, Honeywell brings the Minitrend GR, a small recorder with a large list of possibilities! On the other side, the gang from Schneider – or Eurotherm, you pick – presents the 6100A, another small recorder that can do big things! Let’s jump into the features and highlight the important points so you can decide whether to consider them for your new process.
Disclaimer: This product review examines only features, not performance. If you’ve used this device, feel free to share your experience in the comments.
The Honeywell Minitrend GR makes an excellent first impression as a robust device with a good display size and a quiet design. It has a 5.7-inch digital touchscreen display, a little larger than its competitor. It also has a higher resolution, with 640 x 480 pixels. This display gives you different ways to show the process data – bar graphs, charts, digital values, and a couple of customized options. Not bad at all!
Design-wise, it resembles many of its competitors. The menus and icons look a bit dated, but the user interface seems intuitive; you won’t have problems navigating the menu. The Minitrend’s compact design has it at 144 millimeters wide, 144 high, and 200 around and weighing only 2.7 kilograms.
On the Schneider side, the Eurotherm 6100A also makes a good impression with its robustness and compactness. Unfortunately, the display and fixed menu in the front make the design look like it came from the 80s. Still, the fixed menu can help you to navigate the device menu, and that’s good, right?
The 6100A has a 5.5-inch display at a resolution of 320 x 240 pixels, a bit smaller than the Honeywell Minitrend GR. It weighs 3 kilograms with dimensions of 144 millimeters in width, 144 in height, and 246.5 in depth using a standard terminal cover. Despite the dated interface, its functions and navigation offer a decent user experience.
Inputs and outputs
Both devices offer impressive numbers of inputs and outputs, but they lack certain market standards, such as HART input to read more than current. The Minitrend has up to 16 universal inputs, meaning you can read current, resistance, RTDs, and more. You can find out what’s standard and optional during the scale out.
You can choose 8 relay alarm outputs, 24 digital inputs, 4 pulse inputs, 4 analog outputs, and even more. The Minitrend can also power field devices with a power supply that supports up to 200 milliamps. Sounds good!
And you can use the Minitrend as a Modbus master and have up to 32 slave devices. On the downside, you can’t read more than current from the devices, you lose remote access, and the Minitrend works like a coupler.
The 6100A has up to 18 universal inputs, where you can read devices by current, contact closure, pulse, and others. For output, you have up to 12 relays that you can use in a variety of ways, but it still lacks analog. Like the Minitrend, the 6100A can also act as a Modbus master to 32 slave devices.
Field protocols and approvals
These devices have very similar protocol options. The Honeywell Minitrend GR has the standard Ethernet to allow remote access via the integrated web server. Beyond the Ethernet, you have Modbus TCP/IP, Modbus RTU, and Simple Network Time Protocol (SNTP). However, it lacks new protocols like EtherNet-IP, PROFINET, or even HART-IP.
The 6100A has Ethernet, Modbus TCP/IP, Modbus RTU, and EtherNet-IP. It also has a built-in web server, so you can use a LAN to access trends, messages, and history on a standard internet browser. On the downside, it lacks new protocols besides the EtherNet-IP.
Both options have decent lists of approvals and protections. The Honeywell Minitrend GR has CE, CSA, UL, NEMA 4x, IP66, and others. The Eurotherm has similar stats; you can check them out in the device directory on the right over there.
These powerful gadgets give you tons of options when combined with field devices. However, the main reason to get one is to collect and record field data, so the space to store this data is a critical topic, right? Usually, you have limited internal memory, but you can extend it with external media.
The Honeywell Minitrend GR has an internal memory of up to 4 gigabytes (GB), but you can expand it with SD cards, USB sticks, FTP servers, or even USB hard disk drives. The total capacity can go up to 120 GB! You can find the details in the product review, and your limits will depend on the type of media you choose.
The 6100A has less internal memory, so you can get only 96 megabytes (MB). Yet it too can accept external media – flash drives, SD cards, USB sticks, or FTP servers. The datasheet has a great table to show you how long data can last depending on the size of your media and sample rate. Sweet!
We can call the advanced possibilities of each recorder “fancy features,” right? I think so. The Minitrend offers health/maintenance to monitor field devices, remote viewing, batch control, reports, e-mails, fast scan, and more. Selecting each feature requires a certain amount of credits. Don’t ask me. I got nothin’. Anyway, you also have external software to display the data and connect with the recorder, as well as the choice of up to 15 different languages!
The 6100A has fewer options but still good ones, such as totalizers, counters, batch control, audit trails, and so on! I like that it has up to 128 virtual channels. It also speaks several languages; both companies did the homework on this part!
Information and documentation
Eurotherm/Schneider has a nicely optimized website that you can actually view on your phone or tablet! Wow. Although the phone experience still needs work, it’s better than nothing! In the minus column, I had trouble finding the info I wanted. Somebody needs to rethink the journey on this site to find everything you need for a device. On the upside, the documentation looks good. You can find answers in the documents – once you find them.
The Honeywell website has a lot of room to improve. Google helped me find the info I wanted better than the site did. Before you ask, forget using your phone or tablet. Fortunately, Honeywell has good documentation, so you can find what you need.
You have consistent players here. If you want an analog output, then forget about the 6100A. If you don’t, then either will provide you similar possibilities. The differences are small details, such as freedom to make equations, quantity of outputs, field protocols, and so on. Choose carefully!
Table of comparison