Honeywell OneWireless proclaimed universal, simple, efficient

Honeywell introduced its long-awaited wireless system today at the Honeywell Users Group Americas Symposium in Phoenix.

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From the Editors of CONTROL

Jeff BeckerDubbed OneWireless, the offering from Honeywell is a mesh network that supports multiple wireless-enabled applications and devices within a single environment. OneWireless supports multiple industrial protocols (e.g., HART, Modbus, OPC) simultaneously, providing a single wireless network that is simple to manage and efficient to operate.

“This is what customers have been requesting,” said Honeywell Director of Business Development Dave Kaufman, “because they want to both protect their investment in multiple legacy application protocols and benefit from the latest technology and wider range of applications.” Kaufman went on to say, “Honeywell is committed to complying with the SP100 standard as it emerges and to providing an easy migration mechanism to the final standard for customers who deploy the current version of OneWireless.”

Scalable to 30,000 devices, OneWireless supports existing Honeywell XYR 5000 wireless transmitters, which started shipping in 2004 and are now installed at more than 500 industrial sites, as well as the company’s new line of XYR 6000 transmitters, which includes corrosion, gauge pressure, differential pressure, high-level analog input and temperature transmitters. The solution also supports wired transmitters, mobile worker devices such as IntelaTrac PKS and Mobile Station, and standard Wi-Fi and Ethernet clients. The open, standards-based infrastructure allows manufacturers to take advantage of new applications as they become available.

OneWireless is a “leapfrog” technology designed to not only show what an eventual SP100 network and device system could be, but to make available systems and solutions using many of the technologies that may likely be incorporated into the final S100.11a standard when it is released in 2008.

Integral to the technology is the ability to include not just process instruments, but also monitoring of a wide variety of non-process variables such as leak detection and repair points, safety showers, and mobile operator workstations. 

The demo on display at HUG showed both a frequency-hopping spread-spectrum multimode gateway, which is the product slated to ship in July, and a prototype of the 802.15.4 radio that is expected to be the device used in the first release of the SP100 standard.

Key to the scalability and flexibility of the network is the ability to incorporate all the existing industrial protocols. “You have to remember to separate the network from the protocol,” Kaufman said repeatedly in discussions after the press conference.

“We’re taking orders this week,” added Jeff Becker, director of global wireless business, “and we will be shipping in July.” He continued, “This is a global launch. These products have been certified for shipment and use anywhere, in any country.” First out of the box are the XYR 6000 temperature and pressure transmitters, and Honeywell is offering a “starter kit” consisting of two transmitters and a multimode gateway with operating software.

At the same press conference, Honeywell announced HILS (Honeywell Instant Locator Service), which works with the OneWireless network and provides a mustering system with instant location service for personnel. HILS will ship in third quarter 2007. HILS is integrated with Experion, and will eventually provide asset tracking, including the ability to even tie a specific asset to a specific operator.

“The key takeaway,” Becker added, “is that OneWireless is designed for the future.”

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