Monday, June 20, 2016

Setting Up RS485 Communication Networks for Multiple Brooks Mass Flow Controllers

Brooks Instrument is a well known manufacturer of mass flow controllers & meters, variable area flow meters (rotameters), pressure & vacuum products, and vaporization products. Their products are found worldwide and in many industrial and R&D applications.  Many times multiple Brooks instruments are used on the same piece of equipment of control loop. Fo installation where multiple MFC's, pressure controllers, or meters are used, Brooks offers supplemental software and hardware to easily network the devices together. The following post provides instruction on setting up a RS485 communication network of Brooks devices.

The three main components required are:

  • The Brooks controller (MFC, pressure controller, etc ..)
  • Brooks Smart Interface software
  • Brooks Model 0260 power supply and converter

For networks with fewer than 10 Brooks devices:

For this part of the discussion, we'll call a small network one with 10 or fewer Brooks controllers. Setting up this type of network is easy - simply daisy-chain the devices and connect to the Model 0260. Then, connect the 0260 via USB to your computer or laptop. Example below:

For networks with 10 to 30 Brooks devices:

For a larger network of 10 devices or greater, the Brook 0260 powered converter should also be selected for best performance results. The 0260 power supply/converter from Brooks Instrument along with the Smart interface software can control up to 30 devices. Both of these products will communicate with any Brooks Instrument MFC or electronic pressure controller with the RS485 Smart Protocol, such as the GF40, GF80 and SLA5800 Series. Other than the 0260 power supply, the only piece of hardware required to set up the network is a multi-drop cable. The images below show different ways to set-up a network with more than 10 devices.

The Brooks Smart Interface software and hardware will work independently. For users that have their own software tools, the 0260 hardware can be used as a power source and signal converter. Additionally, the Brooks Smart Interface software can be used in conjunction with hardware already in place.

For more information on any Brooks Instrument product in Maryland or Virginia, contact:

Flow-Tech, Inc.

Maryland Headquarters
10940 Beaver Dam Rd
Hunt Valley, MD 21030
Ph: 410-666-3200

Central VA Office
10993 Richardson Rd#13
Ashland, VA 23005
Ph: 804-752-3450