Emerson and Cisco offer open-standard wireless solutions for process industries

Sept. 11, 2007

Austin,Texas, September 11 -  Emerson Process Management today announced that it is collaborating with Cisco to offer open-standard solutions for wireless process and plant management applications. Emerson and Cisco are combining their expertise and technology to deliver a complete solution that improves productivity, safety and operational efficiency for manufacturing customers.

Emerson’s wireless process applications use self-organizing field networks for increased monitoring of plant data for control and asset optimization; they also offer mobile operator and maintenance worker applications. Cisco wireless plant networks offer applications including those for worker mobility, voice- over-IP communications, tracking of personnel and assets and video applications.

“Since introducing Smart Wireless field networks a year ago, we’ve been excited at the high customer interest and their quickly realized business results,” said John Berra, president of Emerson Process Management. “We are pleased to be working with Cisco to extend our offering to include wireless plant network solutions with the security and reliability required in the process environment. The combined field and plant communications platform supports current and future applications that help enable faster and more effective business management over the life of the plant. Additionally, Cisco’s commitment to open standards makes it an ideal partner for Emerson and our customers.”

“Networks and mobility are dramatically transforming our customers businesses and in-plant processes,” said Maciej Kranz, vice president of product marketing for Wireless Business Unit for Cisco. “By delivering a combined wireless architecture from Emerson and Cisco, we are enabling our manufacturing process customers to deploy flexible, scalable and safe wireless solutions and mobility applications in rugged plant environments.”

Emerson will project-manage and deliver the wireless solution to customers by working with Cisco and taking advantage of their joint expertise. Emerson and Cisco have developed a services plan to design, specify, install and support wireless solutions for customers worldwide. Many Emerson customers use Cisco’s wired plant network applications today and will realize an advantage by extending their relationships to include wireless applications.

Emerson’s wireless platform will extend the Smart Wireless capabilities of PlantWeb digital plant architecture to include wireless plant networks. The networks use the Cisco Unified Wireless Architecture, offering including industrial-class wireless access points, controllers and network management software and plant applications, such as communication, tracking and worker mobility tools. 

Emerson will use the Cisco Unified Wireless Architecture to provide ubiquitous, highly secure wireless LAN coverage and integration within the plant’s existing IT infrastructure; this integration eliminates the need for a complex wireless overlay network. Cisco’s Wireless Control System will centralize the configuration and management of the plant’s Wi-Fi network, reducing overall cost of ownership.

“We envision that the open-standard wireless infrastructure and applications jointly architected with Cisco will simplify the implementation of value-added wireless automation projects and reduce risk,” summarized Berra.  “The age of wireless will be advanced as process and IT improvements are smoothly integrated, and the canyons of steel and limits of wiring are removed as obstacles to the imagination of customers.”