Wireless Instrumentation for the Process Control Industry

Analynk wireless instruments have been successfully implemented in process control applications including temperature measurements, 4 to 20mA bridges, discrete inputs/outputs, pulse inputs, lighting and pump controls. Contact Analynk Wireless today to discuss your plant's wireless requirements.


Wireless for Safety

Wireless systems may be useful to enhancing the safety profile within a factory operation. These systems can be used to prevent injury through improved communication and enhanced situational awareness within the factory. Wireless safety systems are used in many applications including those designed to prevent chemical handling mishaps, avoid heavy equipment accidents such as “struck-by, and back-over” incidents, prevent falls through active position monitoring and safety interconnects, provide situational awareness within confined spaces, and improve safety for non-employees.

Along with adaption of wireless sensor networks for industrial automation, there are more applications of wireless technology created by users after they are more familiar and comfortable with the wireless technology. Also because of the strong benefits of wireless applications that can save project execution time and cost, more and more wireless has been used for secondary or backup systems for time-critical application such as safety or control applications. Based on this movement, ISA-84 working group (WG) 8 developed a technical report on wireless for safety systems other than those of a safety integrated system (SIS), i.e., those systems with a system integrity level (SIL) rating below ten. The technical report describes the additional elements needed to be addressed when wireless technology is used in an Independent Protection Layer (IPL). Refer to the ISA technical report TR84.00.08-2017 Guidance for Application of Wireless Sensor Technology to Non-SIS Independent Protection Layers for more information.

Reprinted from "Guide to Industrial Wireless Systems Deployments" by the National Institute of Standards and Technology. Get your copy here.

Business Case for Industrial Wireless

One of the key enablers of factory automation is the availability of wireless radio frequency devices. Some applications of radio frequency devices include process control, oil and gas refineries, pharmaceuticals, food and beverage, autonomous guided vehicles (AGVs) control, slotted microwave guides, pendants to control cranes and machine tools, active and passive radio frequency identifier (RFID) for tracking parts, tools and consumables, wireless barcode readers, remote sensing of critical process parameters, mobile telephony, door openers, emergency communication, and general factory Wi-Fi for internet connectivity. In addition, devices not directly associated with the manufacturing process such as microwave ovens and mobile telephone hot spots must be included when designing a factory wireless system. As useful as wireless communications is, it must be recognized that spectrum is limited and there must be judicious choices about when it should be used, and when wired connections are preferable.

In general terms, wireless (as with any upgrade to a factory or enterprise system) should satisfy a requirement related to quality, reliability, efficiency, safety, regulation, or environment as shown in Table 4. The requirements pertain to the business enterprise which in the case of a manufacturing operation means the plant or factory. A wireless deployment should be designed to satisfy one of the key business concerns listed.

Table 4. Purposes for initiating a wireless systems deployment
  • Functionality - Is wireless required to achieve an aspect of function within the factory operation? For example, does the factory require a mobility to achieve a goal?
  • Reliability - Is reliability of the production line improved? The ability to manufacture products, parts or assemblies which conform to the engineering definition, and can demonstrate conformity.
  • Safety - Are people or equipment made safer? The ability of employees to perform their jobs free from recognized hazards including falls, hazardous energy, confined space, ergonomics, and hazardous materials, and being able to demonstrate compliance with all safety regulations.
  • Efficiency - The ability to meet target costs and continue forever to reduce unit production costs.
  • Quality - The ability to manufacture parts and assemblies which conform to the engineering definition, and be able to demonstrate conformity.
  • Environment - The ability to demonstrate compliance with applicable government regulations at the city, county, state, and federal level.

Reprinted from "Guide to Industrial Wireless Systems Deployments" by the National Institute of Standards and Technology. Get your copy here.