Apr 14

Industrial Wireless: What to Consider

Lots has been written in this space about using industrial wireless with PROFINET. This is mostly the ‘what’; this post is to address the ‘how’. “How do I implement industrial wireless in a PROFINET network?” Just to recap, while wireless is not just one thing, this will focus exclusively on the most common type of wireless:…

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Sep 9

PROFINET Communications, Mandatory; Wires, Optional!

I would like to use PROFINET, but my application is an Automated Guided Vehicle (AGV). It’s battery powered with no preset track. I would like to use PROFINET, but the machine rotates and slip rings wear out too fast. If these are your applications, fear not. Since PROFINET uses plain old IEEE 802.3 Ethernet, it…

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Jun 10

Wireless PROFINET Questions – Asked and Answered

I enjoy corresponding with editors about all things PROFINET and PROFIBUS.  But sometimes they don’t get to use my input.  So all my stuff wound up on the editing room floor for a recent article on wireless.  To save my good stuff from extinction, here are wireless questions, asked and answered. Before you begin, remember…

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Feb 4

Wireless – It’s More Prevalent than You Thought

PROFINET can be connected wirelessly as easily as it can be connected with wires.  Of the four kinds of wireless (see previous post), this post is about wireless in discrete automation.  Moreover, it’s about places where wireless has already been used. Here are a half dozen application stories that rely on wireless: Fori Automation Story…

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Nov 19

Four kinds of wireless

PROFIBUS and PROFINET are involved in three of the four kinds of wireless. (Yes, wireless is not one monolithic thing: Wireless or Wireless.) My take on the four kinds: Long-distance like to RTUs Process instrument networks like WirelessHART (PI cooperated with HART Communication Foundation and Fieldbus Foundation to standardize this: Simplified Wireless Communication) Discrete sensor…

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Mar 29

Wireless Distance to Nashville

In Nashville, I did not answer a question adequately about the ranges for various wireless technologies according to a comment on one Course Evaluation.  Let me remedy that here: The expected distance for the various IEEE802.11 variants (a, b, g, and n) is 100 meters but that will vary based on the antenna used and…

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Feb 25

Wireless or Wireless

One of my pet peeves is lumping all wireless types together and treating them as one.  Wireless is not one monolithic thing. I see four types of wireless in industrial automation: 1. Backhaul (as I think ISA characterizes it).  Typically this is long distance radio bringing data from an RTU perhaps at a wellhead to…

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Apr 28

Technology Updates (Hanover Fair 2009 Report 3)

There was news of progress in a number of technology areas: IO-Link, wireless, PROFIBUS, and PROFINET. IO-Link products are appearing more rapidly.  IO-Link is not a fieldbus, but allows digital communications over the device’s cable.  This led me to characterize it as “HART for discrete.”  Conventional devices can be interchanged with IO-Link devices easing the…

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Apr 20

PROFINET in Austin

There were 45 of us in Austin for the PROFINET one-day training class.  Not many compared to the previous day’s PROFIBUS class in Pittsburgh with 102, but still a very engaged group posing lots of questions for us. So many questions that we did not finish until 5:00 pm!  Despite the late finish, most thought…

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