Wireless instrumentation deployments growing quickly
More than 8,000 WirelessHART networks are currently installed in major manufacturing sites around the globe, so says the HART Communication Foundation. The organization reckons that tens of thousands of devices are at work in a variety of process applications including rotating equipment, pipeline monitoring, storage tank farms, and many others. Major companies such as Bayer, BASF, BP, Celanese, ConocoPhillips, Evonik, PEMEX, Shell, Statoil, and others have deployed networks and individual instruments at process manufacturing sites worldwide.
“The WirelessHART standard is built on the solid foundation of the HART Protocol, and by design provides the same familiar ease-of-use, backward compatibility, interoperability, reliability, and security,” says Ron Helson, HART Communication Foundation executive director. “WirelessHART was designed to so that the integration and operation of HART and WirelessHART devices with automation systems is seamless and transparent.”
Leading automation suppliers such as ABB, Emerson, Endress+Hauser, MACTek, Pepperl+Fuchs, Phoenix Contact, R. Stahl, Siemens, and others are shipping WirelessHART-based products. The organization says that the standard supports self-organizing, full multi-hop and multi-path mesh topologies, and requires no specialized tools or expert communication protocol settings for deployment. It characterizes the technology as easy to implement, provides built-in reliability in industrial environments, and employs 128-bit AES encryption to protect the network and the data being transferred at all times. WirelessHART (IEC 62591) builds on proven international standards: the HART Communication Protocol (IEC 61158), EDDL (IEC 61804-3), and IEEE 802.15.4.
Edited by Peter Welander, email@example.com