Monday 27 May 2013

Field wireless systems partnership

Yokogawa has announced that its subsidiary Yokogawa America do Sul Ltda. has signed a partnership agreement with Petróleo Brasileiro S.A. (Petrobras) on the evaluation of field wireless technology based on ISA100.11a: a wireless communication standard for the industrial automation industry established in September 2009 by the ISA100 Committee of the International Society of Automation (ISA)

Through this partnership, Yokogawa will provide Petrobras technical support on the use of field wireless communications and have the opportunity to demonstrate its field wireless products at this company’s test plant. Building on its strong global track record in delivering control systems, sensors, and advanced field wireless technology, Yokogawa will utilise this partnership with Petrobras, a major oil company, to expand its provision of field wireless technology solutions to production plant operators around the world.

Background information
A wireless network can be used to connect a control system with field devices that are distributed throughout a plant. Such networks have many advantages that include reducing cabling and other installation costs and allowing the installation of equipment in difficult to wire locations.

To broaden the use of ISA100.11a-compliant products and related services in plant-wide wireless communications applications, Yokogawa is aggressively promoting its “Wireless Anywhere” business concept. Petrobras, on the other hand, wishes to gather more data about the use of this technology in its production processes with the aim of assessing wireless communication robustness and performance. In so doing, it will be able to properly apply this technology and fully explore its benefits.

By being the first to introduce such wireless communications technology, Petrobras seeks to reduce complexity at its plants and accelerate instrumentation project implementation at certain production facilities, improving productivity. To ensure the maximum effective use of this field wireless technology, the two companies have concluded a partnership agreement so that they can fully collaborate in the field testing process and engage in an exchange of experience and knowledge in order to better understand and apply it.

Partnership overview
Yokogawa will provide Petrobras technical support in the area of field wireless communications. Yokogawa’s wealth of knowledge and experience in this field will allow Petrobras to accelerate the introduction of this technology at its facilities.

Yokogawa will also support the Petrobras technology development and application group in the conduct of large scale tests of field wireless systems at a Petrobras test plant. Data on device installation conditions and system configuration as well as insights into user needs that are acquired through these tests will be used to advance Yokogawa’s development and promotion of field wireless products.

Features of the Yokogawa field wireless systems
The ISA100.11a standard ensures high reliability, application flexibility, network expandability, and compatibility with a variety of wired communication standards such as FOUNDATION™fieldbus, HART®, and PROFIBUS. “ISA100.11a full functional” field wireless network systems and devices make use of state-of-the-art dual redundant technologies that enable a much higher level of reliability, and allow massive scalability and long-range communications. Such systems ensure responses in real time by making use of state-of-the-art dual redundant technologies and can be quite large in scale, supporting connections to up to 500 field wireless devices. The data update time is 5 seconds when the system consists of a host system and 500 field wireless devices, and 1 second with a host system and 200 field wireless devices. As such, these systems are the fastest in their class. The field wireless devices are proven to be able to communicate over distances up to 10 km with a high-gain antenna , which is 20 times the range of conventional systems. (Local regulations may restrict the use of such antennas with field wireless devices.)

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