Wireless technologies have changed the way people live, providing a means for everyone to get in touch with anyone when and where. In the process industries, the same technologies are used by organisations to improve their operations, particularly in the areas of maintenance, security, and health safety, and environmental (HSE) performance.
is now implemented in thousands of industrial facilities in more than
120 countries around the world. An important event that caused this
widespread adoption was the creation of a multi-vendor, interoperable
The international standard IEC62591 or WirelessHART
is the first standard developed specifically to meet the needs of the
process industries. It was established by the HART Communication
Foundation (HCF) in collaboration with end-users, process equipment
vendors, and engineering and communication experts. WirelessHART was ratified in September 2007 by the HCF and approved by the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) in 2010.
achieved the benefits of wireless technologies in the past few years,
organisations are quickly moving forward to wider and more complex
wireless implementation. In the oil and gas sector, for instance, pump
and steam trap monitoring used to be a lengthy and expensive process
involving physical inspection and laborious data collection in distant
field and plant locations. With wireless technologies, these issues are
gone. Operators can now obtain a wealth of equipment health information
remotely and anywhere.
organisations have also started to implement plant-wide tracking
applications to address workforce productivity, security, and HSE
performance. These tracking applications offer varying degrees of
location accuracy depending on budget and business needs.
standard tracking, plant operators use Wi-Fi Active Radio-Frequency
Identification (RFID) access badges to ensure that people are allowed or
restricted to enter specific plant areas according to their roles, and
that the movement of assets from one plant area to another is monitored
in real time. For hazardous plant areas where tracking people is more
critical, operators build a stronger Wi-Fi network infrastructure and
deploy numerous sensing points to obtain more accurate information and
quickly address safety incidents should these occur.
is a concern in using wireless, and this is why vendors like Emerson
design their technologies with robust, multi-tiered, always-on security
that uses the most advanced techniques. Wireless is the next inflection
point in the process industries, and hesitant adopters should realise
that they should leverage this innovation now if they don’t want to fall
further behind the curve.
Distributed by the African Press Organization on behalf of Emerson Process Management Middle East and Africa.