Communicating with your instrument

Using an industrial protocol is easy with Alicat’s large number of choices, because you don’t need to slow down your process with a translator box. Your protocol talks directly to the instrument. Choose from serial, analog or a broad selection of protocols installed natively on your mass flow or pressure control instrument.

White Paper: Taking the Leap from Analog to Digital for Multivariate Process Control in Manufacturing

A white paper on Reasons to select Digital Automation options (PDF):

Common Options

Alicat mass flow and pressure control instruments include both RS-232 serial communications and 0-5 volt analog as a standard feature. At your option, these can be replaced with other communications, as well as specify the wiring pinout of another connector.

  • Standard communications: RS-232 digital and 0-5 volt analog. If you’re interested in serial communications, check for software, accessories and cables
  • Optional analog communications: 1-5v, 0-10v, 4-20 mA; secondary outputs also available
  • Optional communications protocols:
    • RS-485
    • Ethernet/IP
    • EtherCAT
    • DeviceNet
    • Modbus RTU (over RS-232 or RS-485)
    • Modbus TCP/IP (over ethernet infrastructure)
  • Standard connector: 8-pin mini-DIN
  • Optional connector: 9-pin or 15-pin D-sub connectors, configured to match any existing pinout

Industrial Protocols



Ethernet/IP industrial network protocol is available on Alicat mass flow and pressure instruments purchased with the Ethernet/IP option. Automate your flow and pressure control system through an ethernet cable connection. The protocol must be ordered as an installed option for new instruments, and is not available as an upgrade to existing units. Check with your local representative or an Alicat Applications Engineer through our web site to get details on pricing and the necessary downloads, supporting files and bulletins.

Alicat’s Ethernet/IP instruments are ODVA CONFORMANT™. Alicat is a member of ODVA, the Ethernet/IP certification body.

Ethernet/IP Operating BulletinFAQ: Alicat Ethernet/IP
Alicat Ethernet/IP EDS File ODVA Conformance



The EtherCAT protocol is available on most Alicat flow and pressure instruments. Like Ethernet/IP, EtherCAT uses ethernet cables to achieve very rapid data transfer rates for hundreds or thousands of devices on a single network.

EtherCAT Operating Bulletin Alicat EtherCAT ESI File



Automation industry users looking for mass flow control with DeviceNet language capabilities turn to Alicat Scientific for DeviceNet-conforming instruments. Check with your local representative or an Alicat Applications Engineer for details on pricing and the necessary downloads, supporting files and bulletins.

DeviceNet Operating Bulletin



This robust communication protocol has been helping manufacturers for over thirty years, making Modbus the linqua franca of the industrial manufacturing world. Any of our units can be configured to support Modbus RTU over RS-232 or RS-485. Modbus data may be transmitted through Alicat’s default 8-pin mini-DIN connector, a 9-pin or 15-pin D-Sub connector or an RJ45 connector.

Modbus TCP/IP

PLCs running the Modbus industrial automation protocol over Ethernet cable can connect with Alicat instruments using the Modbus TCP/IP protocol option. All the mass flow or pressure controller’s data, including: mass flow, volumetric flow, pressure, temperature, selected gas calibration, setpoint, and totalized flow can be output to a central PLC running Modbus TCP/IP. Users may also change setpoint or gas selection, and issue other commands remotely. These capabilities are available in a Modbus intranet or internet environment, using the TCP/IP protocol.

Modbus Operating Bulletin



Alicat mass flow meters, mass flow controllers, pressure controllers, and pressure gauges can be ordered with PROFIBUS communication.

PROFIBUS Operating Bulletin

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