Honeywell unveils secure wireless plan

Source: Industrial Networking, ControlDesign.com

Jul 10, 2006

Honeywell has released a “roadmap” for industrial wireless that it reports will help end-users optimize plant operations and improve employee productivity. Outlined at the company’s recent Users Group Symposium, the project reportedly includes secure network technology that extends applications to improve compliance, safety and security, reliability and optimization. The firm explains its wireless technology ties into work by industrial wireless standards organizations, such as ISA’s SP100 committee and the HART Communication Foundation’s Wireless HART committee.

 

 

     Jack Bolick
 

Jack Bolick

“With increased economic pressures, the continuing advance of cost-effective wireless technology, and with standardization on the horizon, it’s clear we’re at the tipping point for wireless to have a real impact in the plant,” says Jack Bolick, president of Honeywell Process Solutions.

Honeywell says plant personnel tell it they’re looking for a secure, reliable, scalable, power-managed, multi-functionality wireless “cloud” to use in their facilities. Presently, many wireless networks only support single devices, and so plants may require one network to support handheld devices and a separate one to support process sensors, according to the company. Also, these networks have different security configurations and compete in the same bandwidth, leaving plants more vulnerable to network failures.

Consequently, Honeywell’s network will support various industrial protocols and up to 30,000 devices, such as tablet PCs and sensors, and will co-exist with other wireless devices, such as PDAs, pagers, walkie-talkies, and cell phones.

Highlights from the Honeywell Users Group Symposium
Headlines from the three-day event include excerpts from presentations by Honeywell Automation and Control Solutions' Roger Fradin, who shares his company's process automation vision; ExxonMobil's Johan Nye and Michael Sarli on security risks and tomorrow's plant operators; and Genentech's Chris Schreil on his company's joint development with Honeywell on a new control system.

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