Wireless Sensor Networking for Industrial Automation

Plant managers and equipment operators need actual-status information for proper MRO intervention. Wirelessly networked sensors are ideal complements to sophisticated machinery, providing real-time signals for predictive maintenance, real time monitoring and precision instruments.

The MeshScape system is ideally suited for Industrial Automation applications. The hardware modules are easily integrated with sensor and control devices and can be installed quickly and easily. The robust networking protocol provides redundant and scalable wireless mesh network out of the box.

MeshScape delivers:

  • Power efficiency for industrial operation – The MeshScape system, based on an extremely lightweight protocol, offers the most power-efficient solution on the market today. Sensor nodes can operate for years on a coin cell battery.
  • High reliability for maximum uptime – MeshScape networks are the most robust wireless sensor networks offering the highest reliability of data delivery from sensor to host application in the industry. Condition monitoring data is reliably transmitted for maximum operational efficiency.
  • Proven effectiveness in RF-unfriendly environments – MeshScape networks have been successfully tested and deployed in environments where heavy industrial equipment can pose potential radio-frequency obstacles.

Industrial Applications:
 
Remote Monitoring
 From Preventive to Predictive
Customer:
This global instrumentation manufacturer offers a complete line of pressure, temperature, flow and level products and wanted to add wireless capabilities to expand its product line. 

Goal:
The first application the company wirelessly enabled was for gas pads. The process of extracting natural gas produces byproducts. Typically those byproducts – such as hydrocarbons, oil and water – are stored in tanks in the gas fields and trucked off site on a scheduled basis. This manufacturer wanted to expand its line of pressure, temperature, flow and level products with wireless capabilities to enable the trucks to make the pick ups based on need rather than on a timed schedule.

Solution:
The company used MeshScape to install a self-sufficient, self-powered wireless sensor network to collect and communicate vital operational data to a remote monitoring center via satellite to an Internet backbone.

Benefits:
The new wireless product enables their customers to move away from scheduled maintenance to a predictive model to allow the truck runs to be made on an as-needed, just-in-time basis. The data gathered also provides insight into the extraction process, which can be adjusted to maximize the quality the gas. The customers benefit through improved process efficiency, significantly lower operational costs, and improved quality.

 
Predictive Maintenance
 

  Eliminating Wires to Prevent Broken Pipes
Customer:
National utility company.

Goal:
This company has many older energy plants that use old steam pipes. The steam running through these huge pipes is under high pressure which causes the pipes to bend. If the pressure displaces the pipes too much, the pipes can break.

Solution:
The company used a MeshScape wireless sensor network to measure the displacement of the pipes. If that displacement exceeds the defined tolerance range, an alert is broadcast wirelessly and the problem can be addressed before the pipe breaks.

Benefits:
The cost of a broken pipe is enormous; however the ability to implement automated monitoring in this harsh environment is difficult and expensive. Wireless sensor networks makes it possible.

 

Precision Instruments

  Going Wireless for Precision Measurements
Customer:
A leading supplier of digital instrumentation.

Goal:
This company turned to Millennial Net to help it develop an initiative to bring wireless capabilities to their product line of micrometers in response to customer demand.

Solution:
A micrometer is a caliper for measuring distance or size with precise accuracy. For example, a micrometer might take hourly measurements on a machine-shop circular saw to ensure the saw stays within limits. Measurements from the micrometers had been recorded manually. The company, using MeshScape, implemented wireless sensor networking to enable the micrometers to transmit the measurement data wirelessly back to a PC.

Benefits:
Automating the measurement reading process not only improves efficiency and lowers costs, but also eliminates the potential for human transcription errors. Automation was not practical – physically or economically – with a wired solution.