Session Type: Paper
Paths(s): Technician Engineer
With increasing requirements on plant managers to reduce operating costs and increase safety, wireless connectivity is an attractive alternative to buried cable and conduit. However questions remain as to its performance in industrial settings and more so, what will happen during an emergency when multiple alarms and signals all need to get to the control room at once? This paper will discuss the different types of radios that are currently in use with a focus on mesh networks and their application to process control. Spread spectrum modulation techniques of frequency hopping, direct sequence and orthogonal frequency division multiplexing will be compared and analyzed, and their applicability to common industrial applications reviewed. Mesh networks will be delved into in detail covering important aspects such as network congestion, points of failure. Radio standards and specifications will be reviewed, and the audience educated on how to differentiate one radio’s performance from another. Range assessments, interference mitigation and multi-path will be addressed, along with issues surrounding the multitude of frequencies in use and the advantages and disadvantages of each. Rounding out the discussion will be a case study of where a mesh network was successfully applied, along with the lessons learned. The audience should leave with a solid foundation to implement their next wireless project.
With the increasing reliance on wireless networks for process control, the need exists for a way to be able to monitor networks and proactively schedule maintenance. With the increase in wireless network sizes and network complexities and the inter-operation of diverse wireless and LAN equipment, managing a wireless and fixed network requires a new approach. The benefits of wireless communications have been proven through hundreds of thousands of applications in water/wastewater, oil and gas, and manufacturing, to name a few. Traditionally, once the network was installed, it was forgotten until a problem occurred. Wireless manufacturers’ recommendations of regularly scheduled maintenance traditionally involved significant labor and hours of driving only to discover no faults, or trends too small to be indicative. As IT and other technical professionals have been using software tools to monitor networks for years, now software is available to do this automatically and conveniently for wireless networks. This paper will discuss the importance of network management on critical wireless systems that are relied on by large industrial facilities to supply drinking water to families, electricity to households and fuels for heating and transportation.
Wireless sensor networks are revolutionizing how information technology systems can monitor our factories, infrastructure and the environment. lP-enabled wireless sensor networks (lP-WSNs) are merging the physical world with the digital universe of the internet.
We now have all kinds of sensors to monitor our physical world - both man-made and natural. Connecting to these sensors, however, has proven difficult and expensive. Advances in micro processing have made possible a new kind of miniaturized network custom-made for networking any kind of sensor. And wireless technology has made possible a new kind of network custom-made for networking any kind of sensor. These wireless sensor networks (WSNs), combine the functions of a wireless router and a sensor. Hundreds or thousands of battery-powered devices can be put in place to form mesh networks, collecting information on any sort of environmental characteristic from valve pressures in oil refineries, oil temperature in compressors, vibrations in roadways and to humidity in forests and sunlight in an office.
Through new industry standards efforts, WSNs are becoming part of the internet and merging the physical world with the digital universe. The information gathered can make people healthier, factories safer, scientists smarter, buildings more efficient, businesses be more profitable, and governments more effective. Welcome to the Internet of Things.