Industrial wireless monitoring and sensing

05/14/2013


Pervasive wireless network

Facility operators often face aging, legacy equipment that may be “un-instrumented,” and data acquisition on performance and maintenance may be natively impossible. Being able to retrofit ad hoc instrumentation and communicate to gather data and metrics can allow for better operational monitoring and maintenance planning and reduce downtime. One solution is to develop ad-hoc (off- the-shelf) modules for sensor types (humid, temperature, vibration, pressure) to allow rapid deployment of wireless-based sensors to gather relevant data. This allows ad-hoc, short-term, or emergency surveillance of problem devices. Plus, it allows a modular approach to wireless sensor measurement in an aging facility environment without large-scale digital equipment upgrades.

Beyond the delivery of voice over Internet protocol (VoIP) and mobile worker/data applications, the availability of a pervasive wireless network within the facility allows deployment of low-cost sensors and meters for tactical or short-term operational needs. A “bug-like” approach for the deployment of multi-sensor devices that is specific to the operation’s needs should be used.

For example, if a faulty motor or pump is suspected, a camera, vibration sensor, and hall-effect monitor can be attached to the housing. In today’s market, the sensor takes three minutes to assemble the modules in the “plant shop” and one minute to provision on the network.

Cohesive reference architecture

One of the best ways to avoid wireless technology obsolescence, ensure a long system lifecycle, and maximize system utility is to select and deploy wireless infrastructure in the context of a cohesive reference architecture. A reference architecture’s chief function is to provide a baseline roadmap related to interfaces and capabilities of related technology systems and business processes for legacy and planning perspectives. Investing the energy and effort in development of a well-thought-out reference architecture provides several key benefits. These include ensuring equipment compatibility, adherence to and compliance with evolving standards across the enterprise, realization of long-term return on investment goals, and optimal planning of capital expenditure spending.

In an industrial setting the major components comprising a reference architecture typically include field instrumentation, communications, storage/analytics, and presentation/visualization. There are dozens, if not hundreds, of field devices that can be connected using one or more wireless technologies. Capturing field devices in the reference architecture provides an easy method for managing the multiple interfaces that need to occur between field and communications devices. Similarly, management of the interfaces between communications networks to the analytics/storage and presentation/visualization layers is also important to capture in a reference architecture. This ensures that higher layer factors including communications protocols, application programming interfaces, interface libraries, and other critical communications functions are well understood and accounted for during the wireless technology selection process.

Embracing wireless

Although not without challenges, wireless solutions can act as a common enabling technology. They can:

  • Provide ubiquitous communications capabilities
  • Offer cross-operational value and utility
  • Deliver common IP access using standards with robust cyber security
  • Reduce lead time and costs associated with wired cabling. 

Doug Bowers, SAICOn many projects, doing nothing is not an option, so the wireless solution acts more as a risk management policy. Plus, a strong communications foundation can address many challenges facility operators face during process transformation.

- Douglas Bowers is a senior project manager at SAIC. He has more than 15 years of experience in system integration for communication and network systems, identifying requirements, writing specifications, design, testing, and delivery, including rapid prototyping and development of sensor systems for industrial environments. Edited by Mark T. Hoske, content manager, CFE Media, Control Engineering and Plant Engineering, mhoske@cfemedia.com.

ONLINE

www.saic.com/EEandI 

Bowers presented in a Control Engineering industrial wireless webcast. Learn more at www.controleng.com/webcast.

www.controleng.com/wireless links to related coverage.


<< First < Previous Page 1 Page 2 Next > Last >>

The Engineers' Choice Awards highlight some of the best new control, instrumentation and automation products as chosen by...
The System Integrator Giants program lists the top 100 system integrators among companies listed in CFE Media's Global System Integrator Database.
Each year, a panel of Control Engineering and Plant Engineering editors and industry expert judges select the System Integrator of the Year Award winners in three categories.
This eGuide illustrates solutions, applications and benefits of machine vision systems.
Learn how to increase device reliability in harsh environments and decrease unplanned system downtime.
This eGuide contains a series of articles and videos that considers theoretical and practical; immediate needs and a look into the future.
Robotic integration and cloud connections; SCADA and cybersecurity; Motor efficiency standards; Open- and closed-loop control; Augmented reality
Controller programming; Safety networks; Enclosure design; Power quality; Safety integrity levels; Increasing process efficiency
Additive manufacturing benefits; HMI and sensor tips; System integrator advice; Innovations from the industry
Featured articles highlight technologies that enable the Industrial Internet of Things, IIoT-related products and strategies to get data more easily to the user.
This article collection contains several articles on how automation and controls are helping human-machine interface (HMI) hardware and software advance.
This digital report will explore several aspects of how IIoT will transform manufacturing in the coming years.

Find and connect with the most suitable service provider for your unique application. Start searching the Global System Integrator Database Now!

Cloud, mobility, and remote operations; SCADA and contextual mobility; Custom UPS empowering a secure pipeline
Infrastructure for natural gas expansion; Artificial lift methods; Disruptive technology and fugitive gas emissions
Mobility as the means to offshore innovation; Preventing another Deepwater Horizon; ROVs as subsea robots; SCADA and the radio spectrum
Automation Engineer; Wood Group
System Integrator; Cross Integrated Systems Group
Jose S. Vasquez, Jr.
Fire & Life Safety Engineer; Technip USA Inc.
This course focuses on climate analysis, appropriateness of cooling system selection, and combining cooling systems.
This course will help identify and reveal electrical hazards and identify the solutions to implementing and maintaining a safe work environment.
This course explains how maintaining power and communication systems through emergency power-generation systems is critical.
The Engineers' Choice Awards highlight some of the best new control, instrumentation and automation products as chosen by...
The System Integrator Giants program lists the top 100 system integrators among companies listed in CFE Media's Global System Integrator Database.
Each year, a panel of Control Engineering and Plant Engineering editors and industry expert judges select the System Integrator of the Year Award winners in three categories.
This eGuide illustrates solutions, applications and benefits of machine vision systems.
Learn how to increase device reliability in harsh environments and decrease unplanned system downtime.
This eGuide contains a series of articles and videos that considers theoretical and practical; immediate needs and a look into the future.
Robotic integration and cloud connections; SCADA and cybersecurity; Motor efficiency standards; Open- and closed-loop control; Augmented reality
Controller programming; Safety networks; Enclosure design; Power quality; Safety integrity levels; Increasing process efficiency
Additive manufacturing benefits; HMI and sensor tips; System integrator advice; Innovations from the industry
Featured articles highlight technologies that enable the Industrial Internet of Things, IIoT-related products and strategies to get data more easily to the user.
This article collection contains several articles on how automation and controls are helping human-machine interface (HMI) hardware and software advance.
This digital report will explore several aspects of how IIoT will transform manufacturing in the coming years.

Find and connect with the most suitable service provider for your unique application. Start searching the Global System Integrator Database Now!

Cloud, mobility, and remote operations; SCADA and contextual mobility; Custom UPS empowering a secure pipeline
Infrastructure for natural gas expansion; Artificial lift methods; Disruptive technology and fugitive gas emissions
Mobility as the means to offshore innovation; Preventing another Deepwater Horizon; ROVs as subsea robots; SCADA and the radio spectrum
Automation Engineer; Wood Group
System Integrator; Cross Integrated Systems Group
Jose S. Vasquez, Jr.
Fire & Life Safety Engineer; Technip USA Inc.
This course focuses on climate analysis, appropriateness of cooling system selection, and combining cooling systems.
This course will help identify and reveal electrical hazards and identify the solutions to implementing and maintaining a safe work environment.
This course explains how maintaining power and communication systems through emergency power-generation systems is critical.
The Engineers' Choice Awards highlight some of the best new control, instrumentation and automation products as chosen by...
The System Integrator Giants program lists the top 100 system integrators among companies listed in CFE Media's Global System Integrator Database.
Each year, a panel of Control Engineering and Plant Engineering editors and industry expert judges select the System Integrator of the Year Award winners in three categories.
This eGuide illustrates solutions, applications and benefits of machine vision systems.
Learn how to increase device reliability in harsh environments and decrease unplanned system downtime.
This eGuide contains a series of articles and videos that considers theoretical and practical; immediate needs and a look into the future.
Robotic integration and cloud connections; SCADA and cybersecurity; Motor efficiency standards; Open- and closed-loop control; Augmented reality
Controller programming; Safety networks; Enclosure design; Power quality; Safety integrity levels; Increasing process efficiency
Additive manufacturing benefits; HMI and sensor tips; System integrator advice; Innovations from the industry
Featured articles highlight technologies that enable the Industrial Internet of Things, IIoT-related products and strategies to get data more easily to the user.
This article collection contains several articles on how automation and controls are helping human-machine interface (HMI) hardware and software advance.
This digital report will explore several aspects of how IIoT will transform manufacturing in the coming years.

Find and connect with the most suitable service provider for your unique application. Start searching the Global System Integrator Database Now!

Cloud, mobility, and remote operations; SCADA and contextual mobility; Custom UPS empowering a secure pipeline
Infrastructure for natural gas expansion; Artificial lift methods; Disruptive technology and fugitive gas emissions
Mobility as the means to offshore innovation; Preventing another Deepwater Horizon; ROVs as subsea robots; SCADA and the radio spectrum
Automation Engineer; Wood Group
System Integrator; Cross Integrated Systems Group
Jose S. Vasquez, Jr.
Fire & Life Safety Engineer; Technip USA Inc.
This course focuses on climate analysis, appropriateness of cooling system selection, and combining cooling systems.
This course will help identify and reveal electrical hazards and identify the solutions to implementing and maintaining a safe work environment.
This course explains how maintaining power and communication systems through emergency power-generation systems is critical.
click me