Temperature is certainly among the most commonly measured parameters in industry, science, and academia. Recently, the growth of wireless instrumentation technology, along with some clever innovations, has provided new ways to apply temperature measurement sensors combined with personal computers to collect, tabulate, and analyze the data obtained. For complex, multi-sensor applications, wireless devices provide a means to eliminate the nuisance of running multiple leads over long distances through harnesses or conduit to a control room, instrument panel, or equipment rack, while keeping track of which leads are which. For simpler one or two sensor applications, it means installing the wireless sensor, setting up the receiver, and being done.
There are now so many wireless transmitting and receiving devices available for temperature measurement that nearly any application can benefit from their use. In any case, it is certainly worth a closer look. As a bonus, most of the devices discussed below also work with humidity and barometric pressure sensors.
Why is Lack of Interoperability in Wireless a Concern in Industrial Applications?
While the available potential for wireless deployment in factory automation is high, the adoption of wireless is plagued by various concerns surrounding the wireless technology, one of which is lack of interoperability. In the recent past, interoperability was not as major concern as it is currently. People predominantly used to build their own systems or purchased them from a single supplier. Increasing plant automation has spurred the demand for wireless devices and systems for numerous applications like monitoring, alarm and telemetry with a large number of suppliers offering these systems or solutions. They are often customized on proprietary protocols but not based on a common standard or architecture. As a result, these devices offered from multiple suppliers are not often compatible with one another. So even though the options have increased, the end users have become more concerned about the compatibility of the devices.
Westar Energy Inc. turned to WiredCitys IT Monitor as its primary means of preventing network and system problems inside its power plant network. The decision was spurred on by Westar Energy's familiarity and satisfaction with WiredCitys parent company, OSIsoft Inc., whose Real-time Performance Management (RtPM) Platform has had a successful track record in Westar Energy's power generation plants. In addition to improving the quality of network service and ensuring that power traders maintain critical Internet connectivity, Westar Energy discovered new uses for IT Monitor, including tracking down a virus and tuning an Oracle database, which saved a potentially costly upgrade.
This paper summarizes key aspects of WirelessHART, including several of the design decisions that make it the right choice for wireless process automation. More detailed information is available at www.hartcomm.org.
Making the decision to migrate your legacy DCS is a significant one. But increased productivity, greater efficiencies, lower maintenance costs and less downtime can't be ignored. Our tools can help. Learn more about DCS migration special edition IPDF, whitepapers, videos and more.
Justifying automation projects today is extraordinarily difficult. Honeywell offers a wide range of migration options and is the only vendor that continues to support 30+ year-old control systems. These migration solutions provide access to up-to-date technology without having to "rip and replace."
Properly functioning steam traps open to release condensate and automatically close when steam is present. Failed traps waste fuel, reduce efficiency, increase production costs and compromise the overall integrity of the steam and condensate systems. Traps should be tested on a regular basis -- or the neglect may be quite costly.
Bruce Gorelick, Enercheck Systems and Alan Bandes, UE Systems, Inc.
Industrial personal computer (IPC) technology is used in ever increasing volume in the manufacturing environment. This White Paper provides a report for OEMs and manufacturers who use computers in their manufacturing equipment and processes.
We're about to acquire a significant new cybervulnerability. The world's energy utilities are starting to install hundreds of millions of 'smart meters' which contain a remote off switch. Its main purpose is to ensure that customers who default on their payments can be switched remotely to a prepay tariff; secondary purposes include supporting interruptible tariffs and implementing rolling power cuts at times of supply shortage. The off switch creates information security problems of a kind, and on a scale, that the energy companies have not had to face before. From the viewpoint of a cyber attacker - whether a hostile government agency, a terrorist organization or even a militant environmental group - the ideal attack on a target country is to interrupt its citizens' electricity supply. This is the cyber equivalent of a nuclear strike; when electricity stops, then pretty soon everything else does too. Until now, the only plausible ways to do that involved attacks on critical generation, transmission and distribution assets, which are increasingly well defended. Smart meters change the game. The combination of commands that will cause meters to interrupt the supply, of applets and software upgrades that run in the meters, and of cryptographic keys that are used to authenticate these commands and software changes, create a new strategic vulnerability, which we discuss in this paper.
As industrial Ethernet networks grow in number and importance, keeping the right traffic on and off the network becomes essential
The use of Ethernet for industrial automation has grown dramatically. One of the main benefits of moving from legacy fieldbus to Ethernet is the ability to connect the front office to the manufacturing system. This is possible because Ethernet is not a proprietary communication protocol. The non-proprietary nature of Ethernet allows engineers to mix and match equipment from different vendors and get competitive bids. This combination of better office-factory communication and open standards helped industrial Ethernet gain recent widespread acceptance.
But with these benefits come potential problems. As networks and the services they provide evolve and servers or user machines are replaced and upgraded, the likelihood of passing unwanted, often obsolete protocols within the network increases.
Potentially more challenging is the existence of unknown protocols that may degrade the performance of the network. Unknown protocols are often caused by well-intended but uninformed employees who attach unauthorized devices, such as wireless access points, to the network. They can also be caused by traffic such as streaming audio from employees listening to Internet radio stations while working.