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The missing piece for wireless process control

By Chemical Engineering |

Last month, Honeywell Process Solutions (HPS; Phoenix, Ariz.; www.honeywell.com/ps) unveiled the process industry’s first redundant wireless system gateway (WSG), connecting the last major gap in the path to wireless process control. WSGs manage data between wireless field instrumentation and a plant’s process control network. Redundancy between the wireless instruments themselves and their assigned gateway was already a reality since the introduction of so-called wireless mesh networks. Prior to this latest release, however, anyone using wireless networking still had a reliability risk: that if a gateway failed, so would the signals being routed through it, explains Jeff Becker, global wireless business director at HPS. “We would not expect our customers to run [process] control over wires without full redundancy, so why should we expect them to do that wirelessly?” says Becker. The redundant WSG overcomes important programming hurdles, such as the avoidance of signal confusion from dual gateways without more than a 2-s delay. Meanwhile, unique failure-recovery features help prevent data loss, Becker says. The release is especially timely for the vast number of aging facilities with control networks and instrumentation…
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