Wireless Is Evolving

Feb. 26, 2014
Wireless instrumentation is with us and there is no going back.

Wireless instrumentation is with us and there is no going back. It will continue to evolve and will eventually be good enough to integrate directly into control systems.

The fact that there are two commercial standards is a stumbling block, but strides are being taken to integrate both wireless standards into control systems. The most obvious problem is that the wireless network supported by your favorite instrumentation supplier may not be integrated with the DCS that is your company's favorite.

But there are applications for wireless that do not need to wait for DCS integration, such as steam trap, safety valve, eye wash and safety shower monitoring. Safety should also not be delayed.

Neither of the current wireless solutions can be directly integrated into either a DCS or a Foundation Fieldbus control system, meaning that they cannot currently be used as a process variable or control element inside a control loop. That is expected to change in the next few years. Be ready when it happens.

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