Showing posts with label industrial wireless. Show all posts
Showing posts with label industrial wireless. Show all posts

Wireless Process Instrumentation and Cloud-based Solutions

Wireless technologies and cloud computing systems are changing industrial communications. Industrial wireless networks and cloud-based tools, simply stated, allow manufacturing plants to do more with fewer people.

This two-part article delves into the recent trends in the use of cloud-based tools and wireless networks to help plant operators improve their application validation, improve their diagnostic selection of instrumentation, and improve device commissioning.

The benefits of wireless and mobile communications is clear. Engineers and other factory personnel can input data wirelessly via a smart phone, or a laptop computer so they can have their specific requirements recorded. Collaboration with other team members is possible, through the cloud, to determine the optimum set up for the project devices to streamline engineering decisions (and to avoid expensive mistakes upfront in the project). Information in the cloud may also be equipped for instant duplication, so projects that have many identical device configurations can be rapidly repeated.

Using a cloud-based and wireless network approach improves success in installing large numbers of new field instruments, which is common for unit expansion. Other benefits of adapting cloud-based services and wireless networks for prices control include:
  • A convenient way to share and collaborate in real-time. Multiple users can visualize the transmitter configuration though a link. This saves staff time and reduces travel time for support people. 
  • If a beginning user has an underdeveloped knowledge of the application, the cloud can provide readily accessible information such as compatibility charts, specification sheets, code requirements, etc … . 
  • Generation of a standard data sheet so engineers don't have to spend as much time on data entry. The data sheet can be stored to support the user's necessary documentation and audit trail. 

The paradigm for instrumentation setup is changing dramatically. Cloud-based tools and wireless communications are optimizing manufacturing operations and delivering capital projects cost effectively, efficiently, and as rapidly as possible.

Under increasing pressure for improved quality, safety, and profits companies are migrating toward cloud-based application, data storage and wireless networking. These new technologies are playing a key role in improving safety, lowering operating costs, providing real-time performance data, and continuously monitor processes.

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.

Process Control and Wireless Networks

Industrial plants, factories and process automation systems are increasingly deploying information and communications technologies to facilitate data sharing and analysis in integrated control networks. Despite the harsh process control environment, signal propagation loss and radio frequency (RF) interference, wireless connections provide fast and easy access to a variety of field instruments and reduce network installation costs and ongoing maintenance outlays. This serves as an incentive for the adoption of industrial wireless networks based on industry standards such as ISA100.11a, a wireless networking technology standard developed by the ISA (International Society of Automation) and the WirelessHART, a wireless sensor networking technology based on the Highway Addressable Remote Transducer Protocol (known as HART). Wide-scale adoption proceeds cautiously though, as industrial environments vary widely and process control systems exhibit a multitude of critical wireless networking requirements, such as:
  • Deterministic transmissions in shared wireless bandwidth.
  • Low-cost operation.
  • Long-term durability.
  • High reliability in the harsh radio propagation environment.
Wired connections have proven themselves effective in supporting reliable, point-to-point communications between the controller and the field instruments. A problematic limitation exists with wired connections though - they are unable to accommodate the growing demands and future requirements to support adaptive network topology and rapid reconfiguration encountered in new process control systems.

In lieu of laying down miles of cables to connect hundreds of field instruments, industrial wireless communication networks provide wireless connections with customized network topology, allow for plug-and-play configuration, and offer lower installation and maintenance costs.

Compared with the requirements of standard Internet data services, wireless in the process control environment has stricter quality of service (QoS) requirements. These include more highly reliable transmissions in mobile use cases as well as centralized data analytics, tighter message latency, and lower power consumption.

Hazardous Area Antennas

Gathering information in hazardous areas is critically important for plants to access. Wireless communications is vital for improved efficiencies, real-time monitoring of machinery and equipment, and the safety and well-being of personnel.

Hazardous area antennas from Analynk Wireless are designed and constructed for very rugged industrial applications. Furthermore, all Analynk hazardous area antennas  are UL  listed for Class 1, Groups C & D and have ATEX/IECEx Certification. Finally, a range of frequencies are available from 900MHz, 2.4GHz, Cellular, GPS, Iridium and dual bands.



SensaLynk™ Single & Multi-point Wireless Transmitters, Receivers, and Repeaters

The SensaLynk™ line of industrial wireless products are designed to meet today's increasing demands for greater efficiency, higher reliability and lower cost of ownership. SensaLynk™ wireless technology supports industry standards and protocols and maximizes the flexibility of your process control system while reducing inventory and installation costs.

https://analynk.com
(614) 755-5091

HazaLynk™ Wireless Products for Hazardous Areas

The HazaLynk™ Series incorporates a wide selection of wireless hazardous area devices to suit a variety of industrial applications. The product line includes wireless instruments for hazardous areashazardous area antennas, hazardous area access point enclosures, and hazardous area RF enclosures that simplify the process of installing field instrumentation, while meeting code requirements for hazardous classified and explosive environments.

https://analynk.com
(614) 755-5091


The Move Toward Industrial Wireless Control

wireless instrumentation Demands for safety, reliability, efficiency, and quality put manufacturing plants under tremendous pressure. Unexpected shutdowns and outages have devastating effects on plant performance. Lost production, increased energy costs, unplanned maintenance costs, and augmented safety concerns are outcomes of equipment failure. Tomorrow's technologies must mitigate these process control realities.

Wireless technology is a serious contributor in the effort to improve plant efficiency, lower risk, and increase productivity. Wireless transmitters are available for monitoring virtual all process variables such as pressure, temperature, level, flow, and density. In harsh environments these devices provide critical performance data transmission around the clock.

Wireless instrumentation provides a compelling argument when you consider installation cost savings and convenience.  The cost savings associated with the elimination of wires and cables is estimated to be as high as 70% when compared to the cost using cables for the same application. Furthermore, wireless instruments keep personnel out of hazardous areas, providing additional safety and compliance benefits.

All industries face cost cutting realities as they strive for continuous process improvement.  The need to build a better mousetrap is always present. Before widespread adoption of wireless occurs, concerns about reliability, acclimation, and integration must be overcome. But, as deployment costs are reduced, maintenance costs are reduced, employee safety is improved, and environmental compliance is advanced, wireless instrumentation adoption with continue to accelerate in modern process control installations.

Visit Analynk at Atmosphere 2018

hazardous area wireless accesspoint enclosure with antennas
Analynk specializes in hazardous area enclosures for
wireless access points.
Analynk is an active sponsoring partner, participant and exhibitor at the Aruba Atmosphere 2018 conference, held in Las Vegas from March 25 through March 30. The event is organized and hosted by Aruba, a Hewlett Packard Enterprise company. This event provides opportunities for technical training, as well as other resources to keep you and your organization up to date on technology related to wireless networks.

Visit Analynk Wireless at their exhibit space, booth D2F, on Monday, Tuesday or Wednesday during the event. Share your wireless connectivity challenges and leverage your own knowledge and experience with Analynk's hazardous area expertise.

Prefabricated Wireless Communications Solution

Wireless transmission of process measurement and control signals has not been new technology for quite some time. In many cases, wireless connection is the installation method of choice over cabled. The benefits in speed of implementation and cost are substantial. That said, as the technology continues to permeate industrial installations of every size, there still remain facilities where it has not made any inroads yet. 

When technology is new to the industrial market, especially if it challenges the current way things are done, early adopters with larger scale, higher dollar operations are needed to put the technology into practical use and generate manufacturing volume for the technology producers. If deployment of the technology proves beneficial, the market grows on the consumer and producer sides. With greater efficiency and scale, coupled with growth in the knowledge base throughout the market with increased penetration, costs tend to decrease, while the range of feasible applications and projects grows.

Wireless communication for industrial applications is well beyond the point of early technology adoption. Protocols are in place, products for the transmitting and receiving of wireless process signals are mature. As a stakeholder at any level of a processing operation, you should confidently consider wireless connections between measurement and control or recording devices as part of any new installation or upgrading of existing facilities.

Analynk's wireless demo kit includes a model A750 receiver and A753 transmitter both housed in NEMA 4 enclosures. The kit operates at 900 MHz with full 1W power. Locate the transmitter and receiver at points where you wish to establish a wireless connection. You can provide your own input signal, or use the provided simulator to show that a wireless connection can be established and function in a manner that will give you confidence to move forward with implementation. The kit is useful for testing out possible new locations for distance and signal strength. You will use it as wireless communications expand through your facility. Test the location first, then order the needed wireless equipment. It's a solid and low risk solution.

An additional use of the prefabricated transmitter and receiver stations is as a temporary portable means of establishing a connection between measurement and control points. The units can even be solar or battery powered, if no power source is available.

Analynk is a manufacturer of both wireless and wired devices for process measurement and control. The company's offering includes a wide array of standard products, as well as integration and customization to meet specific project requirements. Contact the specialists at Analynk to discuss your industrial wireless application requirements.

Wireless Process Connections - DIY May Not Be Your Best Option

industrial wireless gear enclosure options
Analynk can design and fabricate complete systems for
establishing wireless process connections.
Implementing in-house projects takes time, something you may not have enough of on a good day. Establishing wireless connections between remote sensors and control or monitoring equipment can be accomplished with a minimum investment of scarce in-house human resources using Analynk's design and build services. With an extensive range of standard products, accessories and options, Analynk will assemble ready-to-run panels for the transmitting and receiving ends of your wireless link. This saves a substantial amount in resources that would otherwise be devoted to design, layout, assembly and operational testing of each panel needed. Smart outsourcing.

The Analynk application team can design and fabricate a complete package solution for your process measurement or wireless connectivity requirement. Share your ideas and challenges with the wireless and process measurement experts, leveraging your own knowledge and experience for a successful project outcome.

Analynk Participation in Aruba Atmosphere 2018

logo for Atmosphere 2018 conference by Aruba in Las Vegas
Analynk will be an active sponsoring partner participant at the Atmosphere 2018 conference, held in Las Vegas from March 25 through March 30. The event is organized and hosted by Aruba, a Hewlett Packard Enterprise company. This event provides opportunities for technical training, as well as other resources to keep you and your organization up to date on technology related to wireless networks.

An excerpt from the conference website provides a good synopsis.
Technology is changing so rapidly that it’s near impossible to stay ahead. Don’t rely on Google and YouTube – you should join the best in the industry at Atmosphere 2018. It’s an opportunity to join over 3,000 of your peers to learn, collaborate and influence the direction of Aruba products that deliver enterprise-class wireless, wired, security, location and branch solutions. Be a part of today’s leading innovation machine!
At Atmosphere, you’ll experience the technical vision of how you can enable intelligent edge capabilities in your business with the Aruba Mobile First Architecture. Keynotes and hands-on sessions will teach you how to:
  • Learn how to turn IT resources into assets for your business
  • Close security gaps while supporting workplace flexibility
  • Provide the right collaboration tools for organizational creativity
  • Help your organization gain an innovation edge
  • Embrace the flexibility and scale of cloud and on-premises solutions
Make plans to attend and take advantage of the concentration of available knowledge, all in one place. 

Use Signal Repeaters to Overcome Industrial Wireless Transmission Barriers

industrial wireless communications using transmitter, repeater and receiver
A repeater can be used to overcome barriers to signal
transmission, such as distance and structures.
Many process measurement and control wireless connections are accomplished using networks, with routers and access points. Other connections are established across longer distances, conceivably outdoors. In many of those cases, there are barriers or obstructions that will attenuate the wireless signal sufficiently to prevent reliable data transfer. Hills, wooded areas, walls, tanks and other structures and natural features can present real challenges to wireless signal transmission. Another transmission challenge is the distance between transmission and receiving stations.

One, though not the only, solution to overcoming the challenge that can arise due to extended distance or substantial obstacles between the transmitter and receiver is the placement of a repeater. Analynk provides a repeater that can be strategically located between transmitter and receiver to extend the overall transmission distance, or route the signal around obstacles that may otherwise degrade the transmission. The data sheet included below describes how easy it is to apply and provides all the technical details.

Wireless connectivity is an incredibly flexible option for delivery of process data from measurement point to control point. Contact Analynk with your wireless communication challenges and get solid practical solutions.



Fresnel Zones and Industrial Wireless Connections

oilfield production site and equipment
Industrial wireless connections established outdoors across
long distances have to consider transmission path geometry.
A Fresnel zone, of which there an infinite theoretical number, is an ellipsoid shaped area extending between radio signal transmission and receiving antennas. Having a basic understanding of their impact on successful implementation of a lengthy wireless process signal connection will prove useful.

Wireless transmission of process signals in industrial settings becomes more prevalent every year, and should continue to do so for quite some time. Many installations are part of networks operating similarly to the wifi you may have in your home, with multiple points communicating via a network control scheme of some sort. The facility is flooded with signal coverage through multiple access points, so there may not be much need to consider signal propagation. This is an oversimplification, but as an operator or implementer, making the actual signal connection is probably not going to be an issue in most cases.

What about the other cases?
antennas and associated Fresnel zones and obstruction avoidance
Antennas with three Fresnel zones depicted and
obstruction that is outside the primary Fresnel zone
Courtesy Wikipedia

An extended transmission distance across an outdoor area requires more understanding of signal propagation and factors that impede successful delivery of process data from transmitter to receiver. One concept that comes into play is the Fresnel zone.

Let's avoid an overly technical approach to Fresnel zones. The purpose of this post is to provide those with limited radio expertise familiarity with the subject of Fresnel zones at a level enabling visualization of the concept, and also to recognize its potential impact on achieving a successful wireless process connection.

We often consider the transmission path between two points to be the familiar "line of sight", an unobstructed straight line between transmitter and receiver. In practice, radio frequency transmission is more accurately characterized by Fresnel zones. Being aware of the shape of the first, or primary, Fresnel zone for your application is an important element in identifying potential obstructions. A general practice is to keep the primary Fresnel zone at least 60% clear of signal obstructions, in order to maintain high wireless link performance.

There are numerous sources of Fresnel zone calculators online, but a strong recommendation to consult with your selected wireless equipment provider is in order here. Combine their expertise at applying their products with your application knowledge to leverage an effective solution.

Expand Industrial Wireless I/O Capacity With A16000

industrial wireless communications equipment
The A16000 increases the I/O capacity of a dedicated
transmitter and receiver.
Modern industrial radio frequency (RF) communications gear enables the establishment of process signal connections across very small or very large distances. The advantages of implementing cost effective connections within a very short time frame makes wireless connections a popular option in industrial settings. A misconception arises, from time to time, that it is necessary to have a dedicated transmitter and receiver for each process signal. Analynk has a solution that provides for delivery of up to sixteen process signals over a single transmission path.

Analynk provides hardware that easily allows the transmission and reception of up to 16 I/O points using single transmission and reception point devices. The A16000 Expansion Module can be configured with up to four internal cards that accommodate various types of input and output signals. The configuration process is similar to setting up the I/O on a PLC. Connect the process signals to the A16000, and the A16000 to one of Analynk's transmitter or receiver devices. Setup is straight forward and allows the installation to be operable in a very short time frame. The A16000 can also be used to expand existing installations as process I/O points increase.

Share your wireless communications and signal transmission challenges with the experts at Analynk and get recommendations on how to best implement workable solutions.



Hazardous Area Wireless Access Point Enclosure for Aruba AP 274

wireless access point enclosure for hazardous area
This version of the AP617 Hazardous Area Wireless Access
Point Enclosure accommodates six explosion proof antennas.
The Aruba AP-274 wireless access point carries a description of it's operating environment range that says "Purpose-built to survive in the harshest outdoor environments, 270 series APs withstand exposure to extreme high and low temperatures, persistent moisture and precipitation, and are fully sealed to keep out airborne contaminants. All electrical interfaces include industrial strength surge protection." While the access point can withstand outdoor environments, maybe even some industrial environments, there is a large class of industrial settings where it is just as important to protect the environment from the device as it is to protect the device from the environment. Hazardous atmospheres require isolation and special housing of electrical gear that have potential to be source of ignition.

Analynk manufactures enclosures for industrial wireless access points, facilitating their installation in hazardous locations. Each access point enclosure is specifically targeted and designed to provide easy installation of specific wireless access points from a range of manufacturers. Every model is provided with UL listed explosion proof antennas, a mounting bracket designed for the target access point, and RF cables to make the antenna connections. Enclosures have penetrations specifically located to accommodate the target access point.The current offering accommodates a range of units from Symbol, Cisco, Meru, Aruba, HP, and Motorola, with more models added regularly to accommodate additional wireless access points.

The website has a newly added data sheet for the AP617, specifically designed for the Aruba AP-274 dual band access point. Analynk Wireless specializes in industrial wireless communications. Your wireless communication challenges are welcome at Analynk, so make contact and share your application requirements. Combining your own knowledge and experience with Analynk's industrial wireless application expertise will produce an effective solution.

The new datasheet for the AP617 is provided below. You can see all the models and their companion access points on the Analynk site.


Load Cells in Process Measurement

industrial fluid processing tanks
Strain gauges and load cells are found throughout
industrial processing applications.
In industrial application of process measurement and control, principles of the physical sciences are combined with technology and engineering to create devices essential to modern high speed, high accuracy system operation. Years of research, development, and the forward march of humanity’s quest for scientific knowledge and understanding yield packaged devices for process measurement that are easily applied by system designers and operators.

Load cells are the key components applied to weighing component or processed materials in modern processing. They are utilized throughout many industries related to process management, or just simple weighing operations. In application, a load cell can be adapted for measurement of items from the very small to the very large.

In essence, a load cell is a measurement tool which functions as a transducer, predictably converting force into a unit of measurable electrical output. While many types of load cells are available, the most popular cell in multiple industries is a strain gauge based cell. These strain gauge cells typically function with an accuracy range between 0.03% and 0.25%. Pneumatically based load cells are ideal for situations requiring intrinsic safety and optimal hygiene and, for locations without a power grid, there are even hydraulic load cells, which function without need for a power supply. These different types of load cells follow the same principle of operation: a force acts upon the cell (typically the weight of material or an object) which is then returned as a change in a reference value. Processing the value yields an indication of weight in engineering units. For strain gauge cells, the principle of deformation applies, where extremely small amounts of deformation, directly related to the stress or strain being applied to the cell, are output as an electrical signal with value proportional to the load applied to the cell. The operating principle allows for development of devices delivering accurate, precise measurements of a wide range of industrial products. Advantages of load cells include their longevity, accuracy, and adaptability to many applications, all of which contribute to their usefulness in so many industries and applications.

Analynk manufactures process measurement and control equipment that utilizes strain gauges in their operation, as well as signal alarms and transmitters that will convert strain gauge output signals into common process control signals. Equipment for further establishing wireless connections among measurement and control devices is a specialty of Analynk Wireless. Share your process measurement and connectivity challenges with the industrial wireless experts at Analynk, leveraging your own process knowledge and experience with their specialized application expertise to develop effective solutions.

Wireless Access Point Enclosures for Hazardous Areas

hazardous area enclosure for industrial wireless access point
One of  many variants of access point enclosures for
hazardous areas
Wireless access point enclosures for use in areas classified as hazardous are designed and certified for use in those locations within chemical plants, refineries, oil and gas platforms, mining facilities, grain processing, plastics processing and more. These specialized enclosures also provide an additional level of security for wireless access point by preventing tampering, vandalism, and theft.

It can be advantageous for the wireless network gear in the processing or manufacturing section of a facility to conform to certain information technology standards established for the larger scope of the organization. There can be real benefits to standardizing on particular brands or types of hardware. The tasks involved with back end management of network infrastructure are less complex when all the equipment is of the same vendor and product family. Provisioning, which includes initial setup, long term management, and unit loss management, is simplified when all the units are the same. Process engineers and operators pursue the same goal in standardizing on particular transmitters, valves, or other components that have multiple installations throughout a facility. Difficulty can arise when the IT team's chosen wireless access point needs to be installed in an area classified as hazardous due to the potential for ignition of flammable or explosive gases and vapors.

Analynk's industrial wireless access point enclosures are designed for Class 1, Division 1, Hazardous Locations, Groups C & D, ATEX Zone 1. Standard models are available to accommodate Symbol, Cisco, Meru, Aruba, HP, and Motorola access points. Each unit arrives with an enclosure fitted with mounting holes for the required antenna set and cabling, custom interior mounting plate for the designated access point, explosion proof antenna set and cables to connect the antenna set to the access point. Analynk's hazardous area enclosures for wireless access points deliver a ready-made solution for installing wireless access points in hazardous locations.

Analynk Completes 15 Years of Product Innovation

antenna for industrial wireless communications
Analynk completed 15 years of successful wireless equipment
innovation and manufacture.
Analynk Wireless, LLC just completed its fifteenth year of operations, designing and manufacturing wireless comunications devices for use in the process control arena. Their simple to use and effective wireless devices can be combined with the company's Telmar line of wired process measurement and control instruments, or combined with instruments and equipment of the customer's choosing, to establish process connections across almost any distance.

Steady innovation and improvement, coupled with curiosity and a genuine desire to help customers meet the challenges of process measurement and control, have contributed greatly to the success of the company. New product versions, as well as expanded options, come in an almost continuous stream as Analynk innovates to meet customer application requests.

Share your process connectivity challenges with the experts at Analynk Wireless, leveraging your own process knowledge and experience with their industrial wireless expertise.
celebrating 15 years in business

Off The Grid Wireless Communication for Process Measurement and Control

solar powered process measurement wireless transmitter
The Analynk preconfigured combination solar and battery
power unit enables simple off the grid implementation.
Remote process stations of almost any type requiring monitoring and transmission of measurement data can be accommodated easily with Analynk's solar power unit. The compact preconfigured unit needs just a selection of process measurement gear and a wireless transmitter to enable simple installation. Analynk has already done the design and assembly. The user installs their measurement gear and an Analynk transmitter, performs a quick setup operation, and the station is up and running.

In addition to the obvious advantage of enabling process measurement and transmission where power is not available, there may be instances where a wireless solution saves time and expense of extending a power circuit to the instrument location. The power supply unit comes complete with solar panel, battery, charge controller, and NEMA 4 enclosure. Options are available to accommodate specific installation requirements and custom units can be assembled for larger power requirements and other special applications.

The data sheet below provides more detail. Share your wireless process measurement and control connectivity challenges with Analynk for effective solutions.


Updated and Expanded Wireless Equipment Enclosure Options

construction and feature options for wireless equipment enclosures
Analynk customizes wireless equipment enclosures to
provided customers ready to run solutions.
Analynk offers customizing and fabrication of wireless equipment enclosures to meet every customer requirement. Combining their industrial wireless transmitters, receivers, repeaters, antennas, and other components into a fully assembled package, Analynk can save customers time and cost with a complete and ready to run solution for establishing wireless process instrument connections across almost any distance.

The company recently updated the documented offering for enclosure options. If you have the old document, you should replace it with the newest version.

Share your industrial wireless connection requirements and challenges with the experts at Analynk. Combining your own knowledge and experience with their application expertise will deliver an effective solution.