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Suppliers demonstrate support for WirelessHART

Several process automation manufacturers joined the HART Communication Foundation (HCF) at the CIA2011 exhibition in Singapore (22-25 Nov 2011) to display a range of interoperable WirelessHART products.

According to HCF, this demonstrates united manufacturer support for the HART Communication Protocol and the IEC 62591 WirelessHART standard.

A recent survey by Control magazine showed 4.4 percent of respondents using ISA100-11a and 23 percent using IEC 62591 WirelessHART. However the clear winner was 802.11x networks with over 50 percent claiming to use this as their wireless communications standard.

“Users worldwide are sending a clear message for industry suppliers to address their critical need for reliable, robust and secure wireless communication in real world industrial plant applications,” says Ron Helson, HCF Executive Director.

“Suppliers are responding by manufacturing and shipping an ever-increasing range of WirelessHART products and solutions that meet user requirements.”

IEC 62591 WirelessHART positions iteslf as the first international, interoperable wireless communication standard for the process industry.

It builds on the foundation of HART technology, enabling users to gain the benefits of wireless technology while maintaining compatibility with existing devices, tools and systems. HART is currently used in more than 32 million installed devices worldwide.

The HART booth at CIA2011 displayed WirelessHART products and solutions from ABB, Emerson, MACTek, Phoenix Contact, ProComSol, Rohrback Cosasco Systems (RCS), R. Stahl and Siemens, among others.

Live demonstrations showed the interoperability between transmitters, gateways and wireless adapters from multiple manufacturers made possible by the single WirelessHART standard.

“WirelessHART transmitters are able to support a full multi-hop mesh topology networking which eliminates the need for multiple backbone routers, and the cost and risk to run power and wired networking in the field,” says Helson.

“This means wireless can be deployed even in a running plant. A self-organizing mesh topology establishes multiple paths between devices and is therefore very reliable without single points of failure.”

Currently, there are plants around the world using WirelessHART transmitters in applications such as annulus pressure monitoring, filter/strainer plugging, heat exchanger efficiency, pump health monitoring, safety shower/eye wash monitoring, tank farm inventory and leaks, temperature profiling and turbine performance, among others.

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