These new wireless products can be used to construct highly reliable large-scale plant networks, and may also be incorporated in small- and medium-sized networks that already utilise Yokogawa’s existing products, substantially expanding their capability. This is in line with the company’s “Grow” concept of enabling customers to expand their plant wireless networks while making full use of existing assets.
ISA100.11a is a wireless communication standard for the industrial automation field that was established in September 2009 by the ISA100 Committee of the International Society of Automation (ISA). This was approved as a National Standard by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) in December 2011, and has been submitted to the IECSC65C Subcommittee for approval as an international standard.
A wireless network that connects a control system with field devices such as differential pressure/pressure transmitters and temperature transmitters has many advantages: it reduces cabling and other installation costs, and allows the installation of equipment in difficult-to-wire locations.
In July 2010, Yokogawa began offering entry-level field wireless system solutions based on the YFGW710 field wireless integrated gateway. Users of these systems have come to value their high reliability, real-time performance, and environmental resistance, which help to ensure stable plant operations, as well as their immunity to electromagnetic interference and secure wireless communications. A number of these users now wish to expand their wireless networks.
To meet this demand for large and reliable plant wireless networks, Yokogawa has developed three new field wireless system devices and enhanced two existing field wireless transmitters.
The new products are a field wireless management station, a field wireless access point, and a field wireless media converter.
The field wireless management station is a new gateway device for connecting production control systems and field wireless devices, and includes system and security management functions. The field wireless access point is a new router device for connecting field wireless devices and gateways, while the field wireless media converter is a new device that converts data from the 100BASE-TX to the 100BASE-FX format.
The enhanced devices are the EJX-B series differential pressure/pressure transmitters, the YTMX580 wireless temperature multiplexer, and the YTA 510 temperature transmitter, both of which now have detachable remote antennas and feature low power consumption design.
Each of the new field wireless system devices offers dual redundancy via a backup device. If the communications link is broken or a hardware failure occurs in any of these devices, automatic switchover to the backup device is implemented and the communications link is restored, ensuring uninterrupted communications with field wireless devices and increased reliability in process monitoring. This feature also offers the same benefits in any future application of wireless communications technology for process control.
Compared to the YFGW710, the new field wireless management station can manage up to ten times the number of field wireless devices. Both it and the new field wireless access point support communications with 100BASE-TX, 100BASE-FX, and wireless LAN networks, allowing for both the expansion of plant wireless networks and the full use of existing assets.
Both the EJX-B and YTA510 transmitters now come with an antenna that can be removed and mounted in a separate location, extending the communications range. A high-gain antenna option is also available that can extend the communications range up to four times. The high-gain antenna, also called a “long distance antenna”, emits strong radio waves, allowing wireless communications over a wider range. In addition, through the incorporation of low power consumption design features, battery life is now twice as long.
Major target markets are process manufacturing industries including oil and gas (onshore/offshore facilities), petrochemicals, chemicals, iron and steel, pulp and paper, power, and water treatment. Typical applications are the measurement of temperature, pressure, flow, and tank fluid level.
Yokogawa’s approach to field wireless communications
Yokogawa presents wireless communications and other field digital technology solutions that help companies to optimise their plant operations. Support of the ISA100.11a standard ensures high reliability, application flexibility, network expandability, and compatibility with a variety of wired communication standards.
In July 2010, Yokogawa released the world’s first ISA100.11a compliant field wireless devices. As the industry’s support of the ISA100.11a standard gains momentum, the number of ISA100.11a products is expected to increase. Yokogawa will continue to enhance interoperability for seamless connection with other companies’ products and will develop sophisticated wireless control solutions for continuous processes. The company’s focus is on proposing field wireless communications solutions based on the “Grow” concept. By making possible the expansion of wireless systems, educating users about wireless solutions, and improving convenience, Yokogawa aims to help its customers to grow their plant operations.