Wireless products have fundamentally changed our lives – and they are also playing an increasingly important role in the industrial environment. Here too, the enormous potential of wireless technology opens up totally new perspectives.
In the new connected world of smart manufacturing, industrial wireless instrumentation is rapidly becoming the technology of choice for a growing class of applications. It is quickly gaining relevance in automation applications. In some applications, it is not the amount of data that poses challenges, but the distances to be bridged. Whenever the plant architecture does not allow conventional wiring, values are only accessible through frequent visits to the field. Wireless instrumentation can be a solution to one such problem.
To achieve lasting success in the face of global competition, companies need to permanently improve their productivity while minimizing the total cost of ownership. This calls for new measures and new concepts. Wireless solutions offer many more benefits than just the elimination of cabling and installation costs. Users also profit from significantly faster commissioning and more efficient maintenance as well as greater flexibility and mobility. Wireless technology ensures improvements in production quality and plant safety. All of these advantages add up to greater overall plant availability.
Wireless enables the right information to get to the right users when they need it. Many of these users may be people such as reliability engineers or quality or safety engineers who may not traditionally be impacted by controls instrumentation, but they have real pains that wireless can solve. They may need information real time or just on-demand in the control system, or in a separate application specific to their job. Wireless instrumentation can replace information that is being logged manually – freeing up field operators to focus on more critical tasks. The lack of information is no longer a barrier to achieving business results.
Wireless instrumentation and networks offer a number of other advantages over traditional wired networks, such as:
Wear-and tear free data transfer.
Deployment in mobile and rotating equipment or in hostile and remote locations.
Temporary deployments as the network nodes do not require physical infrastructure.
Smaller installation footprint – no junction boxes, cabling infrastructure and reduced marshaling cabinet sizes
Wireless sensors and networks can be used in a wide range of process measurements, usually at dramatically lower costs as compared to wired alternatives, with faster installation time and minimal disruption.