Both process and discrete industrial markets continue to look further at wireless technologies to enable new capabilities and provide incremental improvements in existing network communications. According to a report from the ARC Advisory Group, standardization of wireless network protocols for both devices and infrastructure is helping to increase the popularity of wireless technology.
We surveyed Industrial Networking readers recently about their protocol preferences. Of those using wireless networking technologies, close to half (45%) use 802.11b/g as their primary network protocol. Just over a quarter (26%) make WirelessHART their primary network, and another quarter are split evenly between 802.11n and proprietary networks. Bluetooth and ZigBee are still factoring low on the use scale.
With its latest report on the process industries, ARC found that many initial applications are focused on adding incremental points to improve control strategies, taking advantage of the ability to take measurements in difficult-to-reach or mobile locations. As wireless device adoption increases, analysts say, market emphasis will move from incremental additions to more comprehensive wireless installations.
|Five in One
Adam-2000Z series wireless I/O modules use IEEE 802.15.4 standard I/O and support 2.4 GHz mesh networking. They include a Modbus RTU gateway, router node, I/O and sensor devices. An internal compartment for two AA alkaline batteries will keep devices updated at 1 min intervals for a year. They can connect up to 32 nodes, including router and end devices.
Advantech Industrial Automation
|Wireless in One
SureCross Q45 self-contained, wireless photoelectric sensor solution includes proprietary power management for extended battery life on two replaceable AA lithium batteries, communication range to 1 km line-of-sight, multiple I/O with support of a wireless network of up to 47 Q45 sensors per gateway, and IP67/NEMA 6P classification.
|For Bluetooth Starters
DIN-rail-mount Bluetooth Starter Kit, to evaluate and implement Bluetooth wireless technology, has two pre-configured Wago-I/O-System nodes equipped with a programmable fieldbus controller and Bluetooth RF-Transceiver Module. Via browser, users can view communication status and throughput time, and test included digital points on a pre-built web page.
WNM wireless network module for sending process signals between remote field sites from up to 30 miles can act as a repeater for a virtually unlimited transmission range. Bi-directional device employs spread-spectrum, frequency-hopping operating at standard 902–928 MHz or 2.4–2.4835 GHz. In Smart Switch Ethernet (SSE) mode, it determines the most efficient path of broadcast on a packet-by-packet basis.
Aleos Application Framework has an integrated development environment, feature-rich libraries, and a set of tools to develop custom M2M applications on top of the Aleos embedded intelligence platform on AirLink GX400 and GX440 gateways. It provides M2M and network protocol stacks, access to existing services, and direct access to hardware interfaces.
Cisco Aironet 1552S industrial access point, as part of the OneWireless mesh network, provides wireless coverage for tablet PCs, ISA100.11a field instruments such as wireless temperature transmitters, and Ethernet devices, Wi-Fi clients and ISA100.11a field instruments. It has three dual-band radios that are compliant with IEEE 802.11a/n (5 GHz) and 802.11b/g/n (2.4 GHz) standards.
|GATEway TO THE HART|