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Wireless Networking Niches Grow

Nov. 11, 2013
Users Recognize the Ability to Measure Variables and Statuses in Places That Previously were Too Difficult or Costly

Earlier this year, we surveyed the Industrial Networking audience about its wireless network practices. The respondents' most common uses or intended uses of wireless were for monitoring (60%), control (28%) and alerts/alarms (13%).

Survey respondents indicated their biggest concern about/need for wireless connectivity is reliability/data loss (42%), the need for an industrial standard (20%), security issues (18%) and sensor power/battery life (12%).

SEE ALSO: Don't Be Fooled During Wireless Network Selection

Regarding industry trends, "There is a greater push to integrating industrial networks with corporate networks, so many customers are looking for features that are present in commercial products such as controllers," says Ariana Drivdahl, product marketing manager for industrial wireless at Moxa. "There also is a greater push towards mesh networking, as customers want true seamless wireless coverage in pretty much all vertical markets."

Wireless is used in many types of applications in the industrial space, says Ira Sharp, product marketing manager, I/O and networks at Phoenix Contact. "In many cases wireless can be a problem solver, replacing cables, reducing cabling costs and reducing installation time," he explains. "However, with the growth and the acceptance of wireless in the industrial space, wireless has moved from a simple 'problem solver' to enabling applications that would not be possible with other types of networking.

"A common enabling application would be mobile operator access, allowing technicians to collect system data or upload/download new PLC code via wireless without having to power down the panel to connect directly to the PLC from their computers. And wireless has a enabled the use of new operator panels via tablet PCs, which are connected wirelessly to the control system, allowing operators to have updated process information in real time anywhere wireless connectivity is available. These enabling applications are not simple wire-replacement applications, and they make a process more efficient and increase the accessibility of information, which increases productivity."

Small, Secure
Smart wireless gateway 1410 eliminates manual readings in remote locations and delivers real-time information. It was designed to meet the needs of smaller networks (up to 25 devices) required for remote applications, has built-in layered security, and additional devices can be added quickly and easily without the need to configure the communication paths.
Emerson Process Management
(80) /999-9307

Signal Received
SureCross Wireless Q45 pushbutton with confirmation light and bidirectional communication permits operators to send a digital signal, and receive confirmation of its receipt. The device’s frequency-hopping signal ensures secure data transfer. It has a line-of-site range to 3,000 ft, and it can run for up to five years on two AA lithium batteries, or it can be powered by a local 10-30 V supply.
Banner Engineering
(888) 373-6767

Gateway to the HART
WirelessHART Gateway connects the wired structure and wireless network with its network management to organize and control the wireless network and connect this to a control or SCADA system. Field device signals are received and passed on via the appropriate bus protocol in the fieldbus. The gateway can be installed in Zone 1 areas and can serve up to 250 WirelessHART field devices.
(330) 486-0002

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
(800) 205-7940

No Losses
AWK-6232 wireless access point/bridge/client for outdoor networks delivers a net data rate to 300 Mbps and supports IEEE 802.11n. Dual 2.4/5-GHz RF modules permit two independent wireless connections over different frequencies to make zero wireless packet loss possible. It is housed in a IP68-rated metal enclosure with waterproof/dustproof M12 RJ45 connectors.
Moxa Americas
(714) 528-6777

No Batteries Required
Wireless, industrial-grade, single- and multi-actuator command stations come with pushbutton, selector and key-operated switches. Each has an energy generator, eliminating need for a battery and its related maintenance or replacement. For 915-MHz operation, they’re c CSA us, FCC and IC-certified, and have a nominal transmission range of 40 m inside and 450 m outside.
Steute Industrial Controls
(203) 244-6301

Double Coverage
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.
(800) 343-0228

Long-Distance Transmitter
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.
Moore Industries
(818) 894-7111

MIMO Performance
Scalance W786 and W788 access points with one or two wireless interfaces and W748 client modules offer multiple input/multiple output (MIMO) technology with up to three antennas. They have data rates to 450 Mbps, and comply with the IEEE 802.11n Wireless LAN standard. W786 access points have a high operating temperature range, and W788 has housings with IP65 or IP30 protection.
Siemens Industry
(800) 964-4114

Multi-Function Use
Ethernet WLAN connectivity device is IEEE 802.11a/b/g-compatible in 2.4-GHz or 5.8-GHz bands, and it can be used as an access point, bridge or client. Device power can be supplied using PoE or with redundant power supply connections. It supports multi SSID, VLAN and QoS for integration into existing Ethernet networks. It has WPA/WPA2 encryption and Radius server authentication (IEEE 802.1X).
(800) /849-9343

No Cluster Headaches
FL WLAN 5101 802.11a/b/g/n radio for wireless industrial Ethernet communications offers speeds to 300 Mbps. Cluster management (CM) technology simplifies wireless network management. All access points in a WLAN network can be configured and managed via a single web interface using any access point in the network without additional hardware or software.
Phoenix Contact
(800) 322-3225

Slip Away From Slip Rings
IP65 WLAN wireless Ethernet gateways (WEGs) simplify machine-to-machine networking and replace slip rings on rotating equipment. 758-916 (2.4-GHz) and 758-917 (5-GHz) WEGS transmit data up to 1,300 ft line-of-sight via Modbus/TCP, EtherNet/IP or Profinet. On-unit LEDs provide diagnostics/operational status. A pushbutton and web-based management tool simplify configuration.
(800) din-rail

Go Pro
IndustrialPro 6000 industrial cellular routers with Ethernet and serial interfaces provide wireless communication between SCADA servers and remote RTUs, PLC/controllers and other automation devices. Support for 4G LTE with 3G fallback provides streaming video support for monitoring applications. VPN capabilities, data encryption and stateful firewall configuration can be used to secure remote networks.
(518) 877-5173

Customized M2M
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.
Sierra Wireless
(604) 232-1488

Use the Wave
PremierWave EN wireless device server includes an embedded Linux development kit for wireless connectivity with tunneling, secure tunneling, configuration manager, web-based configuration manager, system-level and diagnostic utilities, Ethernet-to-wireless LAN bridging and virtual IP access for remote connectivity behind firewalls.
(800) 526-8766

Versatile Wireless
AirborneM2M 802.11 a/b/g/n Wi-Fi platform with dual-band (2.4- and 5-GHz) connectivity includes industrial Wi-Fi access points (APXN) and Wi-Fi clients (ABDN), including Ethernet bridges, Ethernet routers and serial servers, and can connect RS-232, 422, 485, Ethernet 10/100M and I/O to the Wi-Fi network. Power options include 5-36 Vdc and 802.3af PoE. Security features include network security (EAP), wireless security (802.11i and WPA2-PSK), access security (authentication and firewalls), communication security (SSH) and device security (encryption).
B&B Electronics
(800) 346-3119

Alerts for Analog
wSeries wireless transmitters for analog voltage and current, temperature, humidity and barometric pressure communicate over standard 802.11b/g Wi-Fi, and send text messages or e-mail alarms if variables go above or below a pre-determined setpoint. The CE-compliant product has a NEMA 4/IP65 enclosure.
Omega Engineering
(203) 359-1660

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