Industrial wirelss roadmap

Paul Boughton

Honeywell, at its annual Users Group Symposium, unveiled a customer-driven industrial wireless roadmap that will help end-users fine-tune plant operations and improve plant employee productivity.

The industrial automation and wireless expert outlined its newest initiatives including secure network technology that extends applications to improve compliance, safety and security, reliability and optimisation.

Honeywell will ensure that its wireless technology ties into the work of the evolving industrial wireless standard bodies, such as the Instrumentation, Systems and Automation (ISA) Society SP100 and Wireless HART committees.

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

Recent customer feedback shows that plant personnel are looking for a secure, reliable, scalable, power managed and multi-functionality strategic wireless ‘cloud’ for use in their facilities. Currently, many traditional wireless networks support only single devices. For example, plants require one network to support hand-held devices and a separate one to support process sensors. Additionally, these networks have different security configurations and compete in the same bandwidth, leaving plants more vulnerable to network failures.

The 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 like PDAs, pagers, walkie-talkies and cell phones. Other key network features include the same built-in cyber security technology that has garnered several awards for the Experion® Process Knowledge System (PKS) and a redundancy feature that automatically routes critical information if a device fails.

“Customers are fuelling the industrial wireless revolution and we plan to be right there with them the entire way,” Bolick said. “Wireless applications and sensors expand their ability to gather and interpret data to improve plant performance. At the end of the day it comes down to results. They want a wireless solution that not only provides advanced sensing but one that will help them make decisions that positively impact their overall business objectives – whether that is increased profit, productivity or safety.”

Honeywell’s newest effort surrounding sensors will include strategic features such as:

* ‘Go-anywhere’ sensors that feature self-contained power sourcing.
* High-speed monitoring that can provide up to one second updates.
* Longer battery life – up to 10 years.

Honeywell currently offers wireless-enabled industrial solutions such as its XYR 5000 wireless transmitters – which are installed at more than 200 sites across the world – and mobile hand-held devices such as IntelaTrac*PKS and the mobile Experion Station.

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