Wireless technology has advanced on many fronts—speed, reliability and ease of use to name a few. In a Control magazine article, Wireless just as reliable as hardwiring, Emerson’s Shane Hale shares how this reliability enables the types of applications to increase.
Shane is quoted.
“We need to debunk the remaining myths about wireless, such as the prejudice that it’s hard to implement and program, lacks reliable communications like old cellular phones, or that cybersecurity is a problem… When using sensors designed for the industrial applications that use the WirelessHART standard, they’re interoperable with different suppliers’ gateways, and devices from different suppliers can coexist on the same network and share infrastructure. Wireless is also just as reliable as hardwiring, with functions like WirelessHART’s self-healing mesh that allows devices to seek paths around interference when the environment changes. In some cases, we’ve seen wireless devices be more reliable, such as when a fire causes physical damage to wiring, the wireless devices continue to communicate what could be critical information. Plus, wireless protocols like WirelessHART have native multi-layered encryption, and are designed with cybersecurity as a core component, unlike consumer-grade wireless networks that aren’t built with cybersecurity in mind.
He notes the importance of planning the layout of the wireless network to maximize robustness and enable devices to be easily added to the network. The application of how wireless measurement or control action is an important consideration for the network architecture. He also shares the shift from centralizing all the data through the control system to being much more decentralized to feed the data directly to the intended application.
Read the article for more on the changing priorities in networks and how personnel can use the information more effectively and efficiently to drive improved operational performance. Visit the Industrial Wireless Technology section on Emerson.com for more on how wireless networks and sensors can be used in a wide range of process measurements with faster installation time and minimal disruption.