A number of major process automation manufacturers have shown their support for the WirelessHART wireless plant communication standard, by joining the HART Communication Foundation at a recent global conference.
[Image, right: WirelessHART transmitters from Siemens. Image courtesy of Controlglobal.com]
Manufacturers ABB, Emerson, Endress+Hauser, MACTek, Pepperl+Fuchs, Phoenix Contact, ProComSol, Rohrback Cosasco Systems (RCS), R. Stahl, and Siemens are now all part of the Foundation, making products that support the HART Communication Protocol and the IEC 62591 WirelessHART standard.
According to Ron Helson, executive director of HCF, new suppliers joined-up at the CIA2011 exhibition in Singapore in November last year.
“Users worldwide are sending a clear message for industry suppliers to address their critical need for reliable, robust and secure wireless communication in real world industrial plant applications,” he said.
“Suppliers are responding by manufacturing and shipping an ever-increasing range of WirelessHART products and solutions that meet user requirements.”
IEC 62591 WirelessHART is known by its supporters as the first international, interoperable wireless communication standard for the process industry.
The standard builds on HART technology, which is reportedly used in more than 32 million installed devices worldwide, to allow seamless wireless communication between the devices, even if they are from different manufacturers and use spurious operating systems.
“WirelessHART transmitters are able to support a full multi-hop mesh topology networking which eliminates the need for multiple backbone routers, and the cost and risk to run power and wired networking in the field,” said Helson.
“This means wireless can be deployed even in a running plant. A self-organizing mesh topology establishes multiple paths between devices and is therefore very reliable without single points of failure.”
Helson says manufacturing plants around the world are adopting HART transmitters for annulus pressure monitoring, filter/strainer plugging, heat exchanger efficiency, pump health monitoring, safety shower/eye wash monitoring, tank farm inventory and leaks, temperature profiling and turbine performance.