Patents Assigned to The Foxboro Company
  • Patent number: 6876977
    Abstract: A computer implemented method is provided for conducting business-to-business electronic commerce over the Internet. The method includes the step of providing a website that enables electronic communication with users, and including on the website an electronic shopping basket which is selectively actuatable into various states. An additional step includes enabling two or more remote users to simultaneously access the shopping basket. Each of the users is assigned one or more hierarchically distinct abilities to affect the state of the shopping basket, so that the users are permitted to simultaneously view the status of the shopping basket and sequentially affect the state of the shopping basket. This enables various actions in the purchasing process to be accomplished by various individuals. These abilities to affect the state of the basket may also include providing the users with various selected levels of access to the basket, i.e., to prevent unauthorized purchases.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 27, 2000
    Date of Patent: April 5, 2005
    Assignee: The Foxboro Company
    Inventor: Michael A. Marks
  • Patent number: 6806891
    Abstract: The present invention provides a method and system for graphically displaying status information concerning the allocation of a process resource to a process entity. More particularly, the present invention provides a method and system for displaying the booking status between process entities and process resources in a control processing system. In order to display booking status between processing entities and process resources, the present invention identifies a process resource and multiple process entities (each of each can operate with the process resource), and displays a status indicator responsive to the status of booking requests of identified process entities for the identified process resource.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 29, 2000
    Date of Patent: October 19, 2004
    Assignee: The Foxboro Company
    Inventors: Sena Manuel, Glen Bourgeois
  • Patent number: 6752027
    Abstract: An insertion-type vortex flowmeter that includes an obstruction element removably and replaceably disposed within a pipe. The obstruction element is configured to only partially span the inner diameter of the pipe, and employs multiple flange sub-assemblies to mount the obstruction element to the pipe. The flowmeter also employs a fluid conditioning element that has a major axis that extends axially within the pipe and transverse to the obstruction element.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 5, 2000
    Date of Patent: June 22, 2004
    Assignee: The Foxboro Company
    Inventor: Richard W. Kalinoski
  • Patent number: 6737966
    Abstract: A Keypad Annunciator Graphical User Interface, (KAGUI), for use by an operator of a process control system for presenting and responding to alarm state data generated by the process control system, is disclosed. The KAGUI provides an interactive display of a keypad annunciator on a monitor display screen. A panel manager display and a dynamic icon enhance operator awareness, in a multi-window display environment, of alarms. The KAGUI synchronizes alarm data presented by the KAGUI with process control system alarm data and informs the operator of the status of interprocess communication.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 12, 1999
    Date of Patent: May 18, 2004
    Assignee: The Foxboro Company
    Inventor: Dale E. Calder
  • Patent number: 6729191
    Abstract: An inductive flowmeter for measuring the flow velocity of a conductive fluid has an electrical circuit that advantageously utilizes minimal analog components, and hence has advantages over conventional systems. The circuit has an evaluation channel that measures a differential voltage induced across the fluid as it flows through a region having a magnetic field, and has a reference channel that provides a voltage indicative of the strength of the magnetic field. The differential voltage and the reference voltage are each digitized over the same time interval, and a programmable controller calculates a ratio of the digitized voltages to provide the flow velocity of the fluid.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 28, 2000
    Date of Patent: May 4, 2004
    Assignee: The Foxboro Company
    Inventor: Norman O. Fonteneau
  • Publication number: 20040031328
    Abstract: A flowmeter includes a vibratable conduit, a driver connected to the conduit and operable to impart motion to the conduit, and a sensor connected to the conduit and operable to sense the motion of the conduit. A control and measurement system is connected to the driver and the sensor. The control and measurement system includes circuitry to receive a sensor signal from the sensor, generate a drive signal based on the sensor signal, supply the drive signal to the driver, and generate a measurement of a property of material flowing through the conduit based on the sensor signal.
    Type: Application
    Filed: August 11, 2003
    Publication date: February 19, 2004
    Applicant: The Foxboro Company
    Inventors: Manus P. Henry, David W. Clarke, James H. Vignos
  • Patent number: 6615673
    Abstract: A vortex flow meter has a vortex shedder that spans a diameter or other chord of a fluid-guiding pipe, and protrudes partially externally through two opposed openings in the pipe wall. The vortex shedder includes two spaced-apart mounting pads and an elongate portion spanning therebetween. At least one mounting pad includes a cavity for seating a sensor. One preferred practice of the invention inserts the shedder through the openings into the fluid-guiding pipe such that the elongate section resides within the flowing fluid and produces a stream of space-apart vortices, and the mounting pads protrude at least partially through the openings. The sensor produces electrical signals in response to the induced vortices, and an electronic module receives the electrical signals and calculates the flow velocity of the fluid based on the frequency of the electrical signals.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 26, 2000
    Date of Patent: September 9, 2003
    Assignee: The Foxboro Company
    Inventor: Eugene C. Cullie
  • Patent number: 6581166
    Abstract: A method of fault detection and recovery utilizes dual independent networks to provide fault-tolerance. These networks, a primary and alternate network, are utilized such that communications for a particular computer take place via that computer's preferred network by default. Faults are detected through the use of a heartbeat pinging mechanism to detect faults on the network itself and by periodic port integrity checks to detect port faults. The integrity of the non-default network and port are also periodically verified to assure effective fault recovery. Upon detection of a fault, a packet routing table in the detecting computer is altered to set the detecting computer's default network to the previously non-default network. Additionally, a new gateway packet is transmitted which allows other network computers to modify their routing tables to communicate with the detecting computer over its current default network.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 1, 2000
    Date of Patent: June 17, 2003
    Assignee: The Foxboro Company
    Inventors: Michael Hirst, Douglas MacDougall
  • Patent number: 6529847
    Abstract: A method and system comprising providing a plurality of control signals, the control signals having one or more on periods that do not coincide with the on periods of the other control signals and a first frequency at which the one or more on periods are repeated, the method and system also including driving a plurality of process measurement transducers in response to the control signals by selectively coupling the transducers to ground, and capturing the output of the process measurement transducers within the one or more on periods of the control signals.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 16, 2001
    Date of Patent: March 4, 2003
    Assignee: The Foxboro Company
    Inventors: Gordon L. Hamilton, Peter Allstrom
  • Patent number: 6510352
    Abstract: The provides improved control devices, systems and methods for operation thereof. These rely on control devices that provide virtual machine environments in which Java objects, or other such software constructs, are executed to implement control (e.g., to monitor and/or control a device, process or system). These objects define blocks which are the basic functional unit of the control. They also define the input, output and body parts from which blocks are formed, and the signals that are communicated between blocks. The objects also define nested and composite groupings of blocks used to control loops and higher-level control functions.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 28, 2000
    Date of Patent: January 21, 2003
    Assignee: The Foxboro Company
    Inventors: Paul C. Badavas, Peter D. Hansen
  • Patent number: 6507283
    Abstract: A self-validating output module in a control system includes a current detector and an operating component having at least two states. When the operating component is in the first state, current is directed away from a current detector and toward a load. When it is in its second state, current is directed toward the current detector and away from the load. The presence or absence of current on the current detector is thus a status signal indicative of whether or not current is being supplied to the load. This status signal is then made available to a controller.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 19, 1999
    Date of Patent: January 14, 2003
    Assignee: The Foxboro Company
    Inventor: James Calvin
  • Patent number: 6501995
    Abstract: A control system has blocks or other components that facilitate validation of their own replacements, e.g., downloaded via e-commerce transactions. The system includes first and second process control components. The first component is coupled to a third process control component, with which it transfers information, e.g., as part of an active or ongoing control process. The second component can be, for example, an update or other potential replacement for the first component. The first and/or second components can effect substitution of the second component for the first. More particularly, they can effect coupling of the second component for information transfer with the third component and decoupling of the first component from such transfer with the third component. Preferably, such coupling and decoupling occur while the process control system remains active.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 30, 1999
    Date of Patent: December 31, 2002
    Assignee: The Foxboro Company
    Inventors: Thomas B. Kinney, T. Eric Christiansen, Peter D. Hansen, Bo Ling, Paul C. Badavas, Richard L. Thibault
  • Patent number: 6496892
    Abstract: An I/O device in the form of an internal dongle includes a body having connective structure being arranged to removably attach the body to a housing of an electronic device. The dongle also includes a circuit assembly that has an exterior connector on the body for electrically connecting to a second electronic device, a dongle circuit being electrically coupled to the external connector through the body, an electronic cable having a first end electrically coupled to the dongle circuit, and a second end being structured and arranged to connect to an electronic component of the first mentioned electronic device within the housing.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 12, 2000
    Date of Patent: December 17, 2002
    Assignee: The Foxboro Company
    Inventors: Harold Lake, Charles Piper, David P. Prentice, Simon Korowitz
  • Patent number: 6495012
    Abstract: The invention provides a sensor with a reference electrode and a flowing electrolyte which is particularly useful for measuring the ion concentration of a process solution. The invention includes a sensor having a pressurized reservoir which provides flow of an electrolyte, a non-metallic solution ground and a resistance temperature device bonded to a non-metallic solution ground. The invention provides sensors with greater accuracy and stability by minimizing or eliminating ingress of contaminants from a process solution through the external junction of the sensor.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 31, 2000
    Date of Patent: December 17, 2002
    Assignee: The Foxboro Company
    Inventors: Kenneth S. Fletcher, David N. Skinner, Ellen Candela, Michael M. Bower
  • Patent number: 6473660
    Abstract: A control system incorporates components that automatically switch information sources in response to actual or potential degradation of information generated by them. Thus, a control system has first and second control components that generate first and second “source” signals, respectively, representing substantially identical or related process control variables. A third control component, which normally processes the first source signal, responds to actual or potential degradation of that signal for processing the second source signal in lieu of the first.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 3, 1999
    Date of Patent: October 29, 2002
    Assignee: The Foxboro Company
    Inventor: Richard L. Thibault
  • Patent number: 6453279
    Abstract: A method for adaptively scheduling maintenance of a sensor (14) infers the need for maintenance of that sensor on the basis of an error signal indicative of a difference between a measurement signal generated by that sensor and an independently obtained reference signal that is correlated with the measurement signal (16). Although the reference signal is not identical to the measurement signal, the correlation between these two signals assures that when the sensor is functioning, the two signal will track each other over time. The method includes the step of generating this error signal and then monitoring that error signal to detect a triggering event indicative of a mismatch between the reference signal and the measurement signal. This mismatch is indicative of a probability that there exists a malfunction in the sensor. The value of this probability depends on the choice of the triggering event.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 5, 1999
    Date of Patent: September 17, 2002
    Assignee: The Foxboro Company
    Inventors: Mohan Prasad, David N. DeMoura
  • Patent number: 6453272
    Abstract: According to the principles of the invention, there is provided a system that identifies spurious noise values in an input signal and replaces them with substitute values representative of the spurious-noise-free signal. The system is activated when the signal deviation exceeds a predetermined threshold, otherwise passing the signal unchanged. The substituted representative values are determined based on historical signal data, preferably a moving average with a fixed window. There is further provided a maximum glitch width which prevents inadvertent suppression of a true step in the input signal, and a relaxation time which prevents consecutive filter activations from unduly masking the input signal.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 28, 2000
    Date of Patent: September 17, 2002
    Assignee: The Foxboro Company
    Inventor: William Slechta
  • Patent number: 6449143
    Abstract: An operator workstation has a worksurface and left and right upper support members extending upward from the worksurface. Multiple flat-panel display units are mounted between the support members above the level of the worksurface. The displays are mounted above one another, between the support members. Lower support members support the workstation in connection with a base mounted between the lower support members. The base has a substantially triangular cross-section, while the lower support members have a substantially triangular shape.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 2, 2001
    Date of Patent: September 10, 2002
    Assignee: The Foxboro Company
    Inventors: Albert Rooyakkers, John Porter
  • Patent number: 6425995
    Abstract: The invention provides a sensor with a reference electrode and a flowing electrolyte which is particularly useful for measuring the ion concentration of a process solution. The invention includes a sensor having a pressurized reservoir which provides flow of an electrolyte, a non-metallic solution ground and a resistance temperature device bonded to a non-metallic solution ground. The invention provides sensors with greater accuracy and stability by minimizing or eliminating ingress of contaminants from a process solution through the external junction of the sensor.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 31, 2000
    Date of Patent: July 30, 2002
    Assignee: The Foxboro Company
    Inventors: Kenneth S. Fletcher, David N. Skinner, Ellen Candela, Michael M. Bower
  • Patent number: 6418499
    Abstract: A field controller for use in a distributed control system including an area controller and at least one field controller. The field controller manages at least one controlled device in an industrial process operation. The field controller comprises a processor module segment through which it can control a selected number of devices, and it may also include one or more expansion module segments to enable it to control a larger number of controlled devices. The processor module segment includes a processor module and at least one local interface module for interfacing to a controlled device, and the expansion module segment includes interface modules for interfacing to other controlled devices. In the processor module segment, the processor module and said local interface module are interconnected by a bus segment, which is also connected to an upstream off-module connector.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 12, 2000
    Date of Patent: July 9, 2002
    Assignee: The Foxboro Company
    Inventors: Simon Korowitz, Harris D. Kagan, Harold Lake