USA: Smart Factories Wireless Technologies as a Basis for Industrial IoT Adoption
Emerson predicts the next 10 years will see exponential growth in the adoption of wireless and pervasive sensing applications that help companies maximise safety and reliability, optimise production and enable Industrial Internet of Things (IoT) strategies.
St. Louis/USA — Wireless products have transformed industrial facilities around the world. As many technologies of the past decade have accelerated and improved information at people’s fingertips, industrial wireless has given manufacturers the digital technology to access essential data to make better decisions and improve operational performance.
“Wireless is arguably the most impactful technology for industrial manufacturers since the introduction of digital instrumentation more than three decades ago,” says Bob Karschnia, vice president and general manager, wireless, Emerson Automation Solutions. “Over the past 10 years, industrial wireless combined with smart sensors has provided the foundation that will support cloud-based applications, remote monitoring and other Industrial IoT programmes over the next decade.”
By collaborating with customers on early installations, Emerson helped introduce the world’s first industrial wireless automation standard in 2007. Since then, the company has surpassed 10 billion hours of wireless operations across more than 32,000 networks.
While initial adoption focused on harsh, remote and difficult to reach environments, wireless has expanded customers’ automation ecosystems from core functions to new applications such as acoustic monitoring, corrosion detection and power consumption monitoring.
New plant construction is leveraging wireless technology for other enterprise-wide applications, such as equipment health monitoring and energy management, with upwards of 20 % wireless infrastructure.
“Given the ‘new normal’ for oil prices and the intense focus on getting more value from existing assets, companies are increasingly turning to wireless as a cost-effective and highly efficient technology for fleet-wide performance optimisation,” Karschnia said. “In the next 15 years, there could be 100 % wireless plants, just as many homes today have cut the cord on wired telephone service.”
The company recently announced its new dual-mode wireless gateway which helps customers establish a robust and flexible wireless plant infrastructure, supporting both Wireless Hart and ISA100 industrial wireless communications standards. To help manufacturers minimise potentially negative impacts on their operations, the company recently introduced technologies for advanced wireless detection of piping corrosion, steam and gas leaks, as well as wireless monitoring of power consumption.