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Wireless networking's effect on the industrial environment

Mon, 07/02/2012 - 10:46am
Brian Buchanan, On Semiconductor, www.onsemi.com

Within the Industrial segment, there are many functional wireless networks deployed and many more in the various stages of deployment. A system of connected machines can increase productivity, reduce costs and improve operational efficiencies for the industry. The idea of machine-to-machine landscape has the potential to allow multiple devices to communicate through a common network feeding real-time data back to processing centers. As wired and wireless communication consortiums continue to create and ratify standards to support adoption and drive innovation within the industrial environment, wireless technologies are opening opportunities and new market applications that were previously closed within the industrial environment.

Market adoption of wireless products will increase as technology advances and as network protocols are defined. Two areas that will continue to enable market adoption are: lower-power devices and reduced cost devices. These two improvements will allow wireless sensors to be used in areas that were previously inaccessible to other technologies. Lower-power devices enable sensors to be placed in remote locations without the worries associated with regular battery replacements. Reduced cost devices also enable monitoring of processes that were historically cost prohibitive.  Wireless technologies also minimize the expense of routing wires and cables during the installation of nodes. As the M2M world continues to transform wireless networking is enabling and changing the industrial environment.

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