Listen in: First WirelessHART devices about to hit the market

Emerson taking orders for first devices under new wireless protocol.

04/17/2008


If you’ve been chomping at the bit to get some actual WirelessHART instruments in your plant, your wait may soon be over. Emerson Process Management is now taking orders for these new devices and claiming bragging rights for being the first to do so. ( Listen in: Click here to hear exclusive comments from Bob .)

The fact that Emerson is first isn’t exactly a surprise given the similarity between WirelessHART and its original SmartWireless platform. (The two are very close, although not compatible.) The company had planned to discontinue its earlier efforts and migrate the installed base to WirelessHART; however, more recent plans call for maintaining both platforms under the SmartWireless banner.

Emerson’s SmartWireless range of pressure, flow, level, temperature, and vibration transmitters and gateways are available with WirelessHART standard communications, as is the AMS Suite predictive maintenance software and 375 field communicator. Future instrumentation related products from Emerson will use the standard, including the pH transmitter, discrete transmitter, valve position transmitter, the SmartWireless THUM communicator to transmit HART diagnostics from legacy devices, and the DeltaV native wireless interface. Emerson estimates demand for wireless technology will exceed $1 billion by 2012.

“In my 39 years in process automation, I have never seen a technology with such compelling, immediate benefits,” says company president John Berra. “Emerson customers proved these benefits with installations of our pre-standard products. The WirelessHART standard opens the door to confident and broad implementation of wireless throughout the industry. We are pleased to be the first and invite all suppliers and end users to join us as we enter into this new era of process automation. Wireless simply means a better way to put more eyes and ears in the plant, to enable the plant to run better, safer, and greener. This is a truly wonderful day.”

HART Communications Foundation executive director, Ron Helson, said, “With official release of the HART 7 Specifications in September 2007, the WirelessHART standard became publicly available for manufacturers to begin implementing this new capability into their products and process solutions. I am delighted to see Emerson moving quickly to release WirelessHART enabled products to the industry. The WirelessHART technology addresses the critical needs of the process industry for simple, reliable and secure wireless communication in the real world industrial plant environment. It is easy to use, easy to deploy, and fully backward compatible with existing instrumentation and host systems, preserving the investment in HART-enabled devices, tools, training, applications and work procedures used today.”

Extending PlantWeb digital plant architecture, and through collaboration with Cisco, Emerson offers open-standard SmartWireless process and plant management applications for measurement and control, asset optimization, mobile workers, asset and people location tracking, voice and video, and IT integration and security.

UPDATE : An April 28, 2008,

letter from ABB, Emerson, E+H, and Siemens supports WirelessHART

.

—Peter Welander, process industries editor, PWelander@cfemedia.com ,
Process Instrumentation & Sensors Monthly
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