ABB Improves The World’s First Field Mountable Videographic Recorder


ABB’s SM500F, the world’s first and only field-mountable videographic recorder, has now been upgraded to offer users an expanded range of options for collecting and accessing their process data. The SM500F has undergone a significant range of software and hardware updates to make it suitable for an even broader range of applications.

A major development has been an increase in the number of process inputs from four to seven, greatly enhancing the recording capability of a single SM500F recorder. This is accompanied by an expanded number of software recording channels, from eight to 12, enabling users to record an increased range of variables to gain a more detailed overview of their process. Each of the 12 recording channels can record process and communications inputs, math block results, digital signals and other values, providing additional detail and functionality.

With the addition of RS485 Modbus communications, the SM500F is now ideal for OEMs producing equipment such as autoclaves, sterilisers and retorts with PLC control. Available as an alternative to Ethernet, the RS485 module provides an easy way to integrate the SM500F with the PLC to provide a seamless secure record of process data. In addition, the RS485 module is fitted with two digital inputs, further expanding the SM500F’s I/O capability.

The SM500F now also provides users with greater functionality for batch recording processes. Batch numbers and information can be tagged to process data records. Data can be entered via the front panel or automatically programmed via MODBUS, providing further integration with PLCs and control systems. When a new batch is initiated on the control system, the SM500F will automatically start to record the batch, including any associated batch information. This eliminates the need for the operator to duplicate the data entry process on both the recorder and the PLC, saving time and reducing the chance of any potential errors.

For steriliser, autoclave and retort applications, the SM500F now incorporates the efficiency boosting F0 calculation on each recording channel. When compared to purely time based systems, the calculation of F0 enables a sterilizer operator to reduce the cycle time of their process, boosting efficiency whilst still ensuring required sterilisation levels are met.

ABB has also expanded the size of the SM500F’s internal memory, from 8Mb to 64Mb, increasing the level of historical data that can be stored in the recorder’s internal memory. This feature provides enhanced data security, as well as an added back-up for the data stored on the SM500F’s removable memory card.

For use in refrigeration, cold store and environmental monitoring applications a new alarm acknowledgement timeout feature has been added. Once an alarm condition has been acknowledged, if after a configurable time period it still exists, it will become unacknowledged again re-alerting the operator of the problem. For additional security the operator can be required to securely identify themselves when acknowledging an alarm.

In common with other devices in the SM videographic recorder series, the SM500F now includes a secure chart signature feature. With this feature, authorised operators can securely annotate an electronic chart as if they were signing a paper chart, making it ideal for food, beverage and pharmaceutical applications where traceability is critical.

Fully compliant with the FDA’s (Food and Drug Administration) 21 CFR Part 11 regulations concerning electronic process data collection, the SM500F is ideal for any installation where local indication and recording of process conditions is needed. Typical applications for the device include cold storage, temperature and humidity monitoring, effluent monitoring, borehole abstraction and building management systems.

For more information on the SM500F videographic recorder or any of the SM series please email or call 0870 600 6122 ref.’SM500F’ or visit at

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