March 2009

Special Report: Instruments and Networks

Wireless networks improve refinery operation

Smart instruments and secure wireless communications enable enhanced operations and asset management

Martin, G., Emerson Process Management

Modern wireless technology provides valuable automation options for oil refineries today—improving workforce productivity, safety and plant security. Wireless communications enable access to all assets in the refinery, including instruments, valves, controllers, equipment, cameras for safety and security, and people. Wireless mesh access points use open standards for compatibility and 128-bit encryption for security. Wireless field devices network themselves using a self-organizing mesh that automatically reroutes signals around obstructions. Why wireless? A wireless solution eliminates "blind spots" in the plant—operation areas that have been either technically or economically u

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