WirelessHART: it's not just for process variables anymore

So here we have all those unloved, lonely discrete inputs in the process plant. Things like on-off switches, level switches, flow switches, alarm switches...all those things that we don't usually think of as being part of the process and that sit out in the plant feeling abandoned and uncaredfor. Well, Emerson has just the thing. Now you can bring all that stuff into your DCS using WirelessHART! Sure, you could do it with Profibus, or ASi, or Modbus/TCP over 802.11 radio gateways and use OPC databases, but why? WirelessHART is cool, new and innovative. (For those of you that are taking this seriously as editorial, don't. I'm cynical, and I try to find humor wherever I can...) And this signals a new move by Emerson into the discrete part of the plant, too.  Here's the release: EMERSON ADDS DISCRETE TRANSMITTER TO SMART WIRELESS SOLUTIONS FAMILY   New Rosemount 702 wireless discrete transmitter installs and commissions quickly, and delivers previously unavailable data for improved plant performance and safety     CHANHASSEN, MINN (October 10, 2007) - Emerson Process Management announces expansion of its Smart Wireless solutions family with release of the Rosemount 702 Discrete Wireless Transmitter. Most process plants have hundreds or even thousands of discrete points that are not connected to the control system due to the high cost of wiring. As a result, users are not able to access valuable data about the performance and safety of their plant. The Rosemount 702 Discrete Wireless Transmitter installs and commissions quickly, and provides users with a cost-effective way to access this information. Applications include level and environmental spill prevention, personnel safety and plant equipment status. The 702 supports a variety of non-powered switch types, with single or dual channel capacity and is hazardous area approved. Fully compatible with existing Smart Wireless networks, the Rosemount 702 provides the same rich HART diagnostic data, 7-15 year SmartPowerâ„¢ battery life, and reliable and secure performance as other devices in the Smart Wireless family. Emerson's Smart Wireless solution is an extension of the PlantWeb® digital plant architecture, combining highly reliable, smart monitoring devices with wireless transmitters in an innovative self-organizing mesh network that automatically adapts as device points are added or removed, or obstructions encountered. The network, which uses Time Synchronized Mesh Protocol (TSMP) technology, has been extensively tested in real-world environments. Rosemount 702 Discrete Wireless Transmitters are part of Emerson's broad range of intelligent, digital field devices that power the PlantWeb architecture to improve plant efficiency by 2% and more through delivering asset optimization, process automation, and management execution.