Product Review: WIKA TIF52
When we first learn about temperature measurement, we never imagine the challenges we face on a new measurement point! Maintenance has its problems too, but the big challenges come when you scale out a new device. You need to consider many factors to pick the right instrument for the right application. Fortunately, you can find software online to support you in this task, like the Applicator from Endress+Hauser. You can find other options online as well.
Regardless of which you choose, you need your process data ready – pressure, temperature, flow velocity, and more. And for a thermowell, you need its geometry to scale out, then the sensor to fit into this thermowell. I’ll post an article later to explain this process, but for now, you can play with it and try to figure out how to use it.
Today, we have a new company for the product review! We mentioned WIKA in earlier content but hadn’t reviewed any WIKA products yet. For this review, we’ll discuss the TIF52 HART field temperature transmitter! Let’s figure out the features and how to apply this device.
Disclaimer: This product review examines only features, not performance. If you’ve used this device, feel free to share your experience in the comments.
Whatcha got there?
The TIF52 makes a decent first impression, although its design is downright rustic. Of course, we all can agree that design falls low on the priority list, but I like to point out the small details. The TIF52 brings a compact design similar to several options on the market, as the sensor and power supply connection doesn’t require a large housing.
You also have a local LCD display where you can read the process values, alarms, minimum and maximum values, bar graphs, and other data. Unfortunately, the technical manual doesn’t say if it has a backlight – or anything else, really. If you know more about this part, drop me a line!
It provides local configuration, and if you don’t have a handheld, then you can set up using the four control keys on the display: Up, Down, Escape and Enter. I prefer remote configuration, but a local option is always welcome.
The TIF52 has two inputs to read thermocouples, RTDs, resistance, and millivolts. Most temperature transmitters have these options as standard, but the dual inputs give you real measurement possibilities. You can have a redundant measurement or differential or whatever you can think of!
What can it do?
Measure temperature, of course, but also work in applications that use millivolts or resistance from the sensor. For instance, I saw a process with an analog level transmitter converted to volts using a resistor. Then they had a temperature transmitter reading the information. It’s not the best example, but you get the idea.
The TIF52 only has analog and HART for integration. If you need a different protocol, then you probably want to skip this one unless you want to try a converter. I wouldn’t recommend it, though.
As for accuracy, that’ll depend partially on your sensor, but WIKA claims +-0.1 percent of measuring span for the TIF50 and +-0.05 percent for the TIF52. Sensors have a typical measuring deviation, too; for instance, a type-J thermocouple has a deviation of +-0.91 degrees Celsius. But you can see the sensor info in the technical manual.
And now, approvals! WIKA provides a broad range from flameproof enclosures to intrinsic safety to ATEX and others. Check the manual to see the entire list.
Why should I care?
While not a high-end device, the TIF52 has some nifty features you might find in high-end devices, like redundancy and Sensor Drift Detection. You can access these options when you connect two sensors.
The redundancy option will constantly monitor the sensors. As soon as you have a problem in one, the device will switch to the other. It’ll send you an alert but also keep measuring as long as one of the sensors works.
The Sensor Drift Detection will monitor the sensors’ measurements. If it detects a value beyond the selected value, then it’ll flag the variance. Then you can check the sensor or installation for issues.
The TIF52 covers the basic requirements plus a couple of fancy features! If you want an analog or HART device, then scale out this one and see how it might go in your process.