Phoenix - Honeywell has unveiled an industrial wireless roadmap that will help end-users fine-tune plant operations and improve plant employee productivity. The industrial automation group outlined its newest initiatives, also addressing secure network technology.
Honeywell's wireless technology ties into the work of the evolving industrial wireless standard bodies, such as the Instrumentation, Systems and Automation (ISA) Society SP100 and Wireless HART committees.
"With increased economic pressures, the continuing advancement of cost-effective wireless technology and with standardization on the horizon, it's clear that we are at the tipping point for wireless to have a real impact in the plant," said Jack Bolick, president of Honeywell Process Solutions.
Recent customer feedback shows that plant personnel are looking for a secure, reliable, scalable, power managed and multi-functionality strategic wireless "cloud" for use in their facilities. Currently, many traditional wireless networks support only single devices.
For example, plants require one network to support hand-held devices and a separate one to support process sensors. Additionally, these networks have different security configurations and compete in the same bandwidth, leaving plants more vulnerable to network failures.
Emerging networks will support various industrial protocols and up to 30,000 devices such as tablet PCs and sensors and will co-exist with other wireless devices like PDAs, pagers, walkie-talkies and cell phones. Other key network features include cyber security technology and redundancy that automatically routes critical information if a device fails.
"Customers are fueling the industrial wireless revolution and we plan to be right there with them the entire way," Bolick said. "Wireless applications and sensors expand their ability to gather and interpret data to improve plant performance.