This month's Control Engineering (Jan'04) contains a good article on "Signal Conditioning - Why and How". It explores a few often overlooked reasons to use signal conditioning modules (SCM's).
While SCMs add a little cost to the front-end of an application they save significantly over the life of the application! Consider the hidden costs of upgrading an older PC or PLC controller, SCADA or test and measurement installation... from the sensor up to the software there are lots of elements to examine! If you had most of the signals standardized from signal conditioners you would simply rewire to the new PC or PLC.
Not only is upgrade made easier, the time to repair failed sensors or control equipment is made much quicker and easier. Since an isolated signal conditioner separates these elements with a high- voltage isolation barrier (to 1500Vrms) a failure is usually isolated as well.
There's other benefits to SCMs, such as noise reduction, or making it easier to interface to intrinsic safety barriers. Please check out this article: www.manufacturing.net/ctl/article/CA372356
In addition, this issue of Control Engineering presents a good article on Data Acquisition, "Data Acquisition Systems Fit Wide- Ranging Applications". This article provides valuable information on over a dozen different products. Here's the link to this article: www.manufacturing.net/ctl/article/CA372341
Remember, our Application Engineers can assist you with signal conditioner selection over the phone or via fax and email. Call us at our manufacturing facility in Tucson at 520-741-1404 (fax 520-741-0762) or Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org