By Adam Gibson
The world around us is becoming more and more wireless every day. Our smartphones, tablets, and laptop comput- ers are essential tools, and technologies such as Wi-Fi and Bluetooth provide ubiquitous connectivity that has come tobe accepted as part of modern life.
Wireless technology is also making its way into the world of automation and manufacturing, although not with the same level ofspeed and penetration. Wireless technology is today widely deployedto connect sensors—temperature, pressure, flow rate monitors,etc.—in many process industry systems such as refineries and chemical plants. These installations are large, and their sensors are widelydistributed. With the advent of reliable wireless communications interfaces, it is now easier to network these devices over the air, ratherthan invest the time and expense to physically connect them.
One of the most common uses of wireless technologies in manufacturing platforms is wireless human-machine interfaces (HMIs).Many automation and control platform suppliers have routinely included wireless HMIs as part of their portfolios for several years.
This is done to give machine operators the freedom to move aboutthe plant floor and still maintain real-time control of their machines.Wireless HMIs allow operators to respond to issues immediately,rather than having to return to an operator station. These wirelessHMIs connect to wireless interface devices that are integrated intostandard, high-speed automation network interfaces, such as Prof-Net and EtherNet/IP. These networks are also used to connect machine control and automation functions like PLCs, servos, I/O, andvarious actuator devices.
Emerson’s AVENTICS has now added a powerful wireless module to the wireless technology options available to automation system OEMs and end-users: the Wireless Auto Recovery Module, orWireless ARM. The Wireless ARM enables easy pneumatic valve system commissioning and configuration, as well as real-time access topneumatic component diagnostics.
Proven Value of Smart Pneumatic Technology
Pneumatics is one of the most widely used and effective technologies in today’s automation systems. Pneumatic systems are idealbecause they are proven to provide long operational life as well as alow-cost and effective way to add various motion to equipment.
Pneumatics is also becoming much “smarter” and getting a freshlook from the OEM community as technology suppliers like Emerson add intelligence to these widely used devices.
How wireless connectivity is pushing its way intoautomation, and in turn, making pneumatic systemssmarter than ever before.
Trends for Pneumatic