To help us identify the latest usage and application trends in wireless networking, we conducted an electronic survey of our Industrial Networking audience earlier this year.
This year, 61% of the study respondents currently have wireless or have plans to deploy wireless in the next 12 months. It's not terribly surprising to find that this number is up from 55% in 2010 and 39% in 2009.
Of those respondents who have a wireless application, 30% use WirelessHART and 27% employ 802.11b/g. This reverses the outcome in 2010, when we found that 23% used WirelessHART and 26% used 802.11b/g. The use of proprietary protocols dropped from 17% in 2010 to 8% this year.
Asked what their wireless application is used for, 74% of respondents indicated that they're measuring process variables, and that's up markedly from the 58% we noted in 2010.
Some 54% of respondents indicated their biggest concern about using a wireless connectivity is its reliability and the case for data loss. That's notably up from 44% in 2010. Concerns about a lack of standards, security worries, and battery power were largely unchanged over the past 12 months, according to the study respondents.
|Monitor the Vitals
Embedded management CIP Object and pre-designed FactoryTalk faceplates for 802.11n industrial hotspot products allow direct EtherNet/IP communications from PLCs, PACs and SCADA software systems to each 802.11n wireless node. PLC/PAC programs can directly monitor link signal strength, data packet errors to detect problems and make decisions such as to activate a redundant link.
|Helps Set It Up
Wireless Device Manager (WDM) manages a field-instrument network by serving as a gateway and security manager. It provides an intuitive, web-based interface that allows plant personnel to set up an ISA100.11a network. WDM reduces the time required to commission, monitor and troubleshoot a wireless field instrument network.
Bullet WirelessHART adapter with IS certification enables existing wired HART field devices from any supplier to communicate the process variable and other valuable device information via WirelessHART. Loop-powered, it can be installed on a non-smart, analog device and will transmit a digital PV, eliminating operator rounds and manual data recording.
758-915 Bluetooth gateway transfers Profinet, Modbus/TCP or EtherNet/IP protocols via Bluetooth 2.0. It uses frequency hopping spread spectrum technology and Low Emission Mode to coexist with WLANs. Web-based management provides password or IP address configuration options; on-unit LEDs provide configuration and diagnostic status.
Magnum DX940 hardened substation industrial router is configurable with both 3G wireless and copper cable and fiber wireline ports. It has port-module flexibility for a wide variety of network configurations within the same router enclosure. It provides secure access where wireline is too difficult or too expensive to deploy.
Basic version of the Trusted Wireless Ethernet radio, TWE-Basic transmits Ethernet data from remote locations, even in high interference. It excludes RS-232 and RS-485/422 ports as a slave-only device for use with a standard TWE or TWE-BUS radio. It has MOTR-9 radio platform and a 1 W, frequency-hopping, spread-spectrum (FHSS) transceiver, and operates in the license-free, 902-928 MHz ISM band.
SureCross wireless I/O gateways and nodes have high-power radio frequency (RF) architecture with 1 W transmit power in the 900 MHz ISM band for a range to six miles between devices. Operators select 4-20 mA or 0-10 V inputs in the field. Additional models provide up to 12 discrete inputs or outputs.
wSeries wireless transmitters for analog voltage and current, temperature, humidity and barometric pressure communicate over standard 802.11 b/g Wi-Fi and send text message or email alarms if variables go above or below a pre-determined set point. The CE-compliant product has a NEMA 4/IP65 enclosure.