The use of wireless technology in industrial automation systems offers a number of potential benefits, from the obvious cost reduction brought about by the elimination of wiring to the availability of better plant information, improved productivity and better asset management. However, its practical implementation faces a number of challenges: not least the present lack of a universally agreed standard. This article looks at some of these challenges and presents the approach being taken by Yokogawa.
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In recent years, more field wireless devices have been used in hazardous areas. Meanwhile, in plants that are usually recognized as hazardous areas, there are numerous metallic tanks and pipes that easily shield or reflect radio waves, as discussed later, thus resulting in a poor environment for wireless communication.
The innovation of wireless technology increases the use of wireless communication in the industry. The introduction of wireless communication to plants, however, requires strict features such as robustness, real-time responsiveness, and low power consumption. This has restricted the use of wireless communication to limited applications such as data logging and device status monitoring that does not require strict real-time responsiveness and data arrival reliability in communication.