Using a Digital Umbrella to Realize the Potential of Industrial Wireless
Keywords: Digital Umbrella, Industrial Wireless, Mobility, Backhaul, WSN.
While industrial wireless technology has come a long way in recent years with many successful applications in upstream oil & gas, downstream refining and petrochemicals, and other heavy process industries, the technology has still not lived up to its full potential. As a result, many owner-operators remain reluctant to fully embrace it.
However, by adopting a unified "digital umbrella" approach for wireless implementations, industrial organizations could more easily justify projects, streamline implementation, simplify support, reduce training requirements, and obtain maximum business value.
Industrial Wireless Categories
Industrial wireless communications can be broadly categorized into three areas by application: wireless sensing networks, backhaul, and mobility.
Wireless Sensor Networks (WSN) - In WSN, wireless technology provides the connection from the sensor, machine, equipment, or other field device to an aggregation point such as a wireless measurement gateway, remote terminal unit (RTU), or wireless access point.
Backhaul - The wireless backhaul connects the WSN gathering point to the final destination such as a distributed control system (DCS), SCADA master station, or an application running on a server, such as an HMI or historian.
Mobility - Mobility applications require wireless connectivity to an edge device such as a handheld computer, tablet computer, smart phone, vehicle data recorder, or other mobile device.
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