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Process Control Adopts Wireless - Emerson Process Experts

Process Control Adopts Wireless - Emerson Process Experts

Process Control Adopts Wireless - Emerson Process

By Mark Nixon, Rusty Shepard, Aloysius K. Mok, Bill Bennett, and Deji ChenMiddleware approach precludes idiosyncrasies of wireless.Wireless is all the rage.We do not need to repeat its benefit here. Itsuffices for us to say that those who ignore itrisk missing the biggest opportunity.In essence, wireless technology is about data transmission,and data transmission is a key part in processcontrol. The benefit offered by wireless network isappealing for process control. An example is offshoreoil drilling where systems on land communicate to systemson drilling platforms. In places where wire is difficultor expensive to deploy, satellite communicationmay be the best choice. Using commercial wireless networkmakes possible process control that was previouslyunachievable.Communication bandwidth, disturbances, and costhave been very real impediments to moving monitorand control techniques into a much wider set of problems.Oil exploration, production, and distribution areareas where improved control would provide considerablebenefits.Challenges of deliveryThere are three layers of networks in a distributedprocess control system. Level one is between the smartdevices and the controllers; level two is among the controllersand the workstations; and level three is fromthe workstations to the outside world.Level one runs the process. It has tight real-timerequirement of high predictability and reliability. Thenetwork protocols are usually industry standards likeHART, Foundation Fieldbus, DeviceNet, and the like.Level two supports user interaction, including configuration,control, and monitoring. It has less timingrequirement than level one, but still requires good reliability.The network protocol could be proprietary orindustry standards such as Ethernet. Level three is the

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