"For example, the European Patent EP 1 466 308 B1 and corresponding U.S. Pat. Nos. 7,139,683 B2 and 7,539,600 B2 disclose a sensor arrangement with a measurement detector which generates a raw signal, and with an output stage which outputs an output signal. Between the measurement detector and the output stage, transmission and conversion of the raw signal into the output signal take place. An additional monitoring unit generates, from the raw signal, an auxiliary signal and compares it to the output signal in order to signal deviations beyond a predetermined framework. It is disadvantageous that there must be a second unit for processing of the raw signal. At the same time, only the signal path within the transmitter is monitored in this way.
"U.S. Pat. No. 6,017,143 describes a transmitter with a measurement unit and an input/output unit for connection to a process loop. Furthermore, there is a microprocessor which is connected to a storage unit. Data and rules which have been taught or input are stored in the storage unit. The microprocessor is designed such that it recognizes and signals errors based on the stored data and the measurement signals.
"European Patent Application EP 2 219 013 A1 and corresponding U.S. Patent Application Publication 2010/0211342 A1 disclose a circuit via which it can be checked in a measurement device whether a set measurement current corresponds to a setpoint.
"U.S. Patent Application Publication 2005/0189017 A1 discloses a pressure sensor which checks the measurement signals for errors and signals the presence of an error.
"A quantity which is relevant for assessing a transmitter with respect to safety is the safe failure fraction (SFF) which indicates how large a portion of the safe error of the altogether possible errors exists. A safe error is an error which is relevant to safety, and which however, either is recognized or transfers the transmitter into a safe state. Therefore, one problem lies in the detection of the presence of an error or an error state. Another problem is the safe communication of the detected error or of the shifting of the transmitter into a safe state as easily as possible."
As a supplement to the background information on this patent application, VerticalNews correspondents also obtained the inventors' summary information for this patent application: "Therefore, a primary object of the present invention is to devise a method for monitoring a transmitter, and a corresponding transmitter, which allows reliable display of an error as easily as possible and the shifting of the transmitter into a secured state.
"The method in accordance with the invention in which the aforementioned object is achieved is characterized, first of all, essentially by the following steps: In the case in which the measurement unit detects the presence of an error state, the measurement unit acts on the connecting line which is used for supplying power to the measurement unit. In the method in accordance with the invention, classical data communications for displaying of an error is replaced by the power supply being accessed. Monitoring of the electrical energy relative to the required voltage or the current intensity is very popular and conventional in many devices, whether sensors or actuators. Therefore, the invention starts here and uses this to display the error and to shift the transmitter into a secured state in the case of the presence of an error. The measurement unit is connected to the connecting line in one version via the transmission unit and in an alternative configuration is directly connected to the outer region of the transmitter. Therefore, the error is signaled accordingly, first, internally in the transmitter or directly with the vicinity of the transmitter.
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