Sensor-actuator wireless industrial network technologies

When deciding among wireless industrial networking technologies, remember that there are different kinds of wireless. For industrial applications, there are at least four, and two are compared in the radar graphic shown.

05/22/2012


When deciding among wireless industrial networking technologies, remember that there are different kinds of wireless. For industrial applications, there are at least four, and two are compared in the graphic shown. (The other two are computer standards like Wi-Fi or Bluetooth and long-distance radio as used with RTUs.)

Radar chart estimates differences between wireless sensor and actuator networks for factory automation and process automation plotting suitability across 12 logarithmic axes. Courtesy: PI (Profibus and Profinet International), www.profibus.com

For actuator/sensor level wireless as compared in the graph, there are two unique application spaces: factory automation and process automation.

Compared to factory automation, wireless networks in process environments are characterized by slower update times and higher power requirements (though used intermittently). Wireless process devices are often powered by batteries or scavenged power (power generated by vibration, for example). Process wireless technologies are transitioning from proprietary to WirelessHART and ISA100.

Wireless factory automation sensors and actuators are often called upon to cycle with millisecond update times. These devices can be powered by the radio waves. Factory automation wireless uses proprietary technology today, but PI (Profibus and Profinet International) is developing a standard that uses the IO-Link protocol wirelessly.

Often wireless process and wireless factory devices are installed where Wi-Fi and Bluetooth are in use. Because the wireless spectrum is a limited resource, attention must be paid to avoid interference. A wireless site survey is a good starting point.

- Carl Henning is deputy director, PI North America, Profibus and Profinet, in North America (formerly PTO); Edited by Mark T. Hoske, content manager CFE Media, Control Engineering, Plant Engineering, and Consulting-Specifying Engineer. He can be reached at mhoske@cfemedia.com.

www.us.profibus.com 

www.AllThingsProfinet.com 

www.bluetooth.org

www.Wi-Fi.org

www.wirelessHart.org 

www.isa.org/isa100

http://controleng.com/wireless

http://controleng.com/networks



No comments
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.
The Engineering Leaders Under 40 program identifies and gives recognition to young engineers who...
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.
Intelligent, efficient PLC programming: Cost-saving programming languages are available now; Automation system upgrades; Help from the cloud; Improving flow control; System integration tips
Smarter machines require smarter systems; Fixing PID, part 3; Process safety; Hardware and software integration; Legalities: Integrated lean project delivery
Choosing controllers: PLCs, PACs, IPCs, DCS? What's best for your application?; Wireless trends; Design, integration; Manufacturing Day; Product Exclusive
PLCs, robots, and the quest for a single controller; how OEE is key to automation solutions.
This article collection contains several articles on improving the use of PID.
Learn how Industry 4.0 adds supply chain efficiency, optimizes pricing, improves quality, and more.

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

Special report: U.S. natural gas; LNG transport technologies evolve to meet market demand; Understanding new methane regulations; Predictive maintenance for gas pipeline compressors
Cyber security cost-efficient for industrial control systems; Extracting full value from operational data; Managing cyber security risks
Drilling for Big Data: Managing the flow of information; Big data drilldown series: Challenge and opportunity; OT to IT: Creating a circle of improvement; Industry loses best workers, again