Tuesday 12 August 2014

Japanese company Company recognised for significant research quantifying reliability wireless technology!

LtoR: Toshi Hasegawa, Yokogawa (ISA100 WCI), 
K. Minamizato, NSENGI and Hisashi Sasajima, Azbil (ISA100 WCI)
NIPPON STEEL & SUMIKIN ENGINEERING (NSENGI) has been awarded the “ISA100 Wireless Excellence in Automation Award” for a recently completed research project that quantified the reliability of ISA100 Wireless technology in a multi-vendor device configuration at an operational site.

The consortium was recognised for documenting findings and analysis based upon research conducted at an operational manufacturing site. The objective of the research was to quantify the reliability of communication in wireless networks, specifically ISA100 Wireless. The award is sponsored by the ISA 100 Wireless Compliance Institute.

Included below are some key details of the completed research project.
  • Type of manufacturing facility: Waste recycling plant
  • Number of devices included in the research project: 22 devices
  • Number of different suppliers included in the configuration: Three companies
  • Companies represented: Azbil, Fuji Electric and Yokogawa
  • Duration of the research trials: July 2013 – January 2014
The team identified engineering techniques to optimise performance of the wireless network in response to various adverse conditions present at the plant site. It set out to confirm that:
  1. The wireless network successfully supports a multi-vendor device configuration
  2. Field test results are confirmed independently of supplier claims
The team also set out to increase subject matter knowledge through first-hand experience with wireless instruments and confirming:
  1. Interoperability among diverse suppliers of wireless devices
  2. Characteristics for wireless propagation in a multi-vendor device configuration
In general, the team sought first-hand data about the reliability and stability of wireless technology. As part of its study objective, the team recognized that it would be useful to evaluate performance characteristics at an operating plant site to document and quantify factors such as distance, density of obstructions, types of obstructions, and other factors. The team experimented with system and site engineering alternatives to identify methods to ensure reliability and interoperability.

“For example, the team implemented variations on the installation design, publication period of wireless transmissions (configurable in ISA100 Wireless), number of publication retries and other adjustments,” explained K. Minamizato, Manager, Technology Headquarters, NSENGI.

While detailed results of the study have not yet been made publicly available, the team concluded that ISA100 Wireless network reliability was practical for actual industrial applications.

Looking forward, the team expects that the capability of any ISA100 Wireless certified device to interoperate in the same wireless network will:
  1. Expand the portfolio of wireless devices from a variety of suppliers
  2. Drive down costs/prices of wireless instruments
The team also predicts that with greater availability of wireless instruments and costs trending downward, selecting wireless instrument technology will become easier to justify, and the industry will witness more widespread adoption of wireless technology.

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