Wireless systems such as ZigBee provide wireless personal area networking (WPAN) including digital radio connections between computers and related devices. This type of network eliminates the use of physical data buses such as USB and Ethernet cables.
It is able to support over 64,000 devices in star, tree or mesh formations which form high reliability, self-healing, self-joining networks, with the benefit of network protocol security encryption. Low powered, the devices can be positioned anywhere in or on plant gathering data such as energy readings, temperature/flow levels pressures and fault diagnostics.
As the system provides two-way communications, the nodes are able to relay each other’s traffic, bypassing wired networks completely. Individual nodes can be interrogated remotely to determine and change parameters such as temperature, flow, pressure and power.
The fact that more accurate service usage figures are being collected improves accounting charging, reducing costs, removing data errors and increasing the accountability of managers to monitor and maintain the services aspects of their assets.
The stream of information which can be collected via the wireless system from plant instrumentation across sites is crucial for trending operations to improve on-site demand management and increase efficiency.