he results of a recent online survey found strong interest in wireless sensor networking technologies among end users and system integrators in the industrial automation marketplace. Forty-five percent of respondents are considering deploying a wireless sensor network in 2005, and nearly 70% are researching wireless sensors for industrial monitoring applications.
Sensicast Systems, a provider of wireless sensor networking products and solutions, and B&B Electronics, a manufacturer of data communication products for industrial automation, conducted the survey.
The survey asked about cost savings associated with wireless sensor networks and found 58% of respondents believe they would save more than $100 in wiring and labor costs for each wireless sensor deployed, and 33% anticipated more than $250 savings per sensor. This points to considerable cost savings potential across the industrial enterprise. In addition, nearly 70% of respondents plan to use wireless sensors within harsh radio frequency environments such as those commonly found in industrial automation.
Other findings include:
- Fifty-five percent prefer using the 2.4-GHz frequency band; 25% prefer 900 MHz
- Nearly half of the respondents think battery operation of wireless sensors is important to their applications
- Forty-one percent of respondents are familiar with the ZigBee mesh networking standard; however, 61% of those familiar find ZigBee support important for future interoperability
“The survey clearly demonstrates the industrial sector’s strong interest in wireless sensor networks, and the desire for interoperable wireless that can withstand the challenging RF environments found in industrial settings,” said Paul Sereiko, CEO of Sensicast Systems. "We believe that it’s important to deliver reliable sensor network solutions that can be deployed cost effectively and are flexible enough to meet the demanding requirements set forth by our customers.”
The survey validated B&B's own research, but uncovered new information as well. “We understood cost savings as the key driver of adoption and reliability in harsh environments as the critical requirement,” said Don Wiencek, president of B&B Electronics, an early developer of mesh networking systems and IEEE 802.15.4 conversion products. "Surprising is the adoption rate, which may exceed our expectations. With nearly 70% of respondents researching wireless sensor network options, 2005 will be the year of intense scrutiny of sensor networks for the industrial market.”
You can find more survey results at Sensicast Systems.