Wireless Automation Technology

Automation Technology Moves Towards The Wireless Era

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Novel-distributed signal processing algorithms, energy-efficient medium access control and fault-tolerant routing protocols, self-organising and self-healing sensor network mechanisms, etc., have contributed immensely in growth of the wireless technologies on industrial front. Recent developments like ZigBee, IEEE 802.15.4, Wireless- HART and ISA SP100 have provided indeed some exceptional boosts to this rapidly growing novel technology for some critical applications development.

Market Survey Reports Annual Growth Rates of 25 Percent for Wireless Technology

Technology consultants VDC Research Group (USA) recently completed a worldwide market study on wireless and wireline industrial networking infrastructure products, which includes a user technology opinion survey.

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The global market for the industrial wireless networking infrastructure products under study is expected to increase at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 25.4 per cent from $299.3m in 2007 to $928.1m in 2012. Strong growth rates are forecast for each product category. Asia-Pacific is being Key Growth Driver.

  • Main reasons for these wireless growth expectations include attractiveness of mobility in industrial facilities, increasing awareness of wireless technology and the benefits associated with it, increasing trust in wireless networking and perceived ease of implementation.
  • Average selling prices for all these wireless products are expected to decline globally through 2012.

From Standards to Technologies: Wireless Network Types

The IEEE 802.11 family of standards accounted for the largest share of 2007 shipments, operating in the 800/900MHz and 2.4GHz bands. There is also a shift toward use of lowpower networks. The shipment share for the IEEE 802.15.4 family of standards, which includes Wireless HART, ISA SP100.11a and ZigBee, is expected to increase.

Sometimes, pure is best. But sometimes, mixing does the trick - A combination of network technology sometiomes works best... more on page 3!