Wireless prosperity

It is time to end any perceptions that wireless costs too much to implement, connect, and integrate, as recent information from Motorola and Honeywell demonstrate. Wireless also can be the next game-changer in productivity advances, an easy-to-construct "bridge" between islands of automation, even as handheld wireless devices converge, offering multiple capabilities.

07/01/2009


ONLINE extra below: More resources on industrial wireless

It is time to end any perceptions that wireless costs too much to implement, connect, and integrate. Honeywell demonstrated that for process plants at its recent user group meeting (p. 20 - linked below). Wireless also can be the next game-changer in productivity advances, an easy-to-construct “bridge” between islands of automation, even as handheld wireless devices converge, offering multiple capabilities.

Motorola shared recent survey results with Control Engineering , and I was gratified to hear that more than a dozen large-scale wireless projects, previously on hold, are now re-approved and underway. Manufacturers are determined to get out in front of competitors with higher levels of efficiency and profitability.

Wireless standards play a role (p. 35 - linked below), but plants that could benefit now from wireless implementations shouldn’t delay. Some major providers of automation, controls, and instrumentation promise to make their equipment comply with emerging wireless standards, as they become final, via firmware.

Jim Hilton, senior director of Global Manufacturing Solutions for Motorola’s Enterprise Mobility Solutions business (formerly Symbol Technologies), says he hears people say: “I’m looking for increases in efficiency. That’s why I’m talking to you.” Sites didn’t want to take production lines down that were running flat out, he says, but now, just before things pick up again, they’re making wireless productivity investments. Other key points:

  • PPG process control supervisor Robert Brooks uses Motorola handheld computers (MC9090s) as mobile operator PDAs for views into automation and maintenance systems, seeing “significant opportunities” after enabling wireless on 4 of 20 lines. In installation, Brooks has saved at least $250,000. Cost per foot has been at least one-tenth that of wired in some locations. And he sees huge potential benefits in efficiency, safety, and environment, as well.
  • 48% consider themselves innovators or early adopters; 41% are conservatives. (I wonder if the 11% in the laggard group will be around in a few more years?)
  • 80% of decision-makers say mobility is increasing in importance , a 9-point gain over the last survey.

Still think wireless implementations are more trouble than they’re worth? Think again. Add in the value of smarter, more timely decisions to realize the full potential of wireless prosperity.

MHoske@cfemedia.com

ONLINE extra - more on industrial wireless

- More on the survey:

- Honeywell demo shows how process industries 'can do work wirelessly'

- Wireless standards

- Industrial Wireless Implementation Guide .





No comments
The Top Plant program honors outstanding manufacturing facilities in North America. View the 2015 Top Plant.
The Product of the Year program recognizes products newly released in the manufacturing industries.
The Engineering Leaders Under 40 program identifies and gives recognition to young engineers who...
2016 Product of the Year; Diagnose bearing failures; Asset performance management; Testing dust collector performance measures
Safety for 18 years, warehouse maintenance tips, Ethernet and the IIoT, GAMS 2016 recap
2016 Engineering Leaders Under 40; Future vision: Where is manufacturing headed?; Electrical distribution, redefined
SCADA at the junction, Managing risk through maintenance, Moving at the speed of data
Safety at every angle, Big Data's impact on operations, bridging the skills gap
The digital oilfield: Utilizing Big Data can yield big savings; Virtualization a real solution; Tracking SIS performance
Applying network redundancy; Overcoming loop tuning challenges; PID control and networks
Driving motor efficiency; Preventing arc flash in mission critical facilities; Integrating alternative power and existing electrical systems
Package boilers; Natural gas infrared heating; Thermal treasure; Standby generation; Natural gas supports green efforts

Annual Salary Survey

Before the calendar turned, 2016 already had the makings of a pivotal year for manufacturing, and for the world.

There were the big events for the year, including the United States as Partner Country at Hannover Messe in April and the 2016 International Manufacturing Technology Show in Chicago in September. There's also the matter of the U.S. presidential elections in November, which promise to shape policy in manufacturing for years to come.

But the year started with global economic turmoil, as a slowdown in Chinese manufacturing triggered a worldwide stock hiccup that sent values plummeting. The continued plunge in world oil prices has resulted in a slowdown in exploration and, by extension, the manufacture of exploration equipment.

Read more: 2015 Salary Survey

Maintenance and reliability tips and best practices from the maintenance and reliability coaches at Allied Reliability Group.
The One Voice for Manufacturing blog reports on federal public policy issues impacting the manufacturing sector. One Voice is a joint effort by the National Tooling and Machining...
The Society for Maintenance and Reliability Professionals an organization devoted...
Join this ongoing discussion of machine guarding topics, including solutions assessments, regulatory compliance, gap analysis...
IMS Research, recently acquired by IHS Inc., is a leading independent supplier of market research and consultancy to the global electronics industry.
Maintenance is not optional in manufacturing. It’s a profit center, driving productivity and uptime while reducing overall repair costs.
The Lachance on CMMS blog is about current maintenance topics. Blogger Paul Lachance is president and chief technology officer for Smartware Group.
This article collection contains several articles on the vital role of plant safety and offers advice on best practices.
This article collection contains several articles on the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) and how it is transforming manufacturing.
This article collection contains several articles on strategic maintenance and understanding all the parts of your plant.
click me