I knew it would happen, and here it is already. While some moan about the fact that ISA rejected the existing WirelessHart standard as it adopted its ISA100.11a standard (still awaiting ANSI acceptance the last I heard), I knew that this was just an opportunity for networking companies to build interoperable devices that would help end users implement the systems they wanted.
So, Apprion has announced a new version of its IONizer industrial wireless networking appliance that seamlessly integrates wireless sensor network gateways based on either ISA100.11a or WirelessHart standards with 802.11 (WiFi) radios to support other industrial wireless applications such as mobility, location, video, and communications and to enable efficient backhaul of sensor data wirelessly.
“Without standards like ISA100 and WirelessHart, creating scalable applications based on wireless sensor networks would create islands of automation that would never deliver their full potential value,” said Doug Donzelli, Apprion’s President and CEO. “The only way wireless applications get traction in the industrial world is through the adoption of appropriate standards and the integration of those standards through platforms like our ION System that allow these wireless sensor networks to deliver data to the full range of operational, safety, and security applications.”
As Apprion describes its system: IONizers supporting ISA100 and WirelessHart wireless sensor networks are integrated with the Apprion IONosphere as part of Apprion’s ION System. This integration allows transmission of real-time sensor data from devices instrumented with ISA100 or WirelessHart sensors to the ION Condition Monitoring application. Combine the ION Condition Monitoring application with other ION applications such as ION Video and/or ION Asset Tracking to create operational dashboards customized to each individual’s role in the plant. Integrate ION Applications with other applications to provide manufacturing facilities with a single, customizable interface that uniquely meets the application requirements for safety, security, engineering, logistics, and maintenance personnel.
As the two wireless sensor networks gain traction, expect other suppliers to release products designed to get them to work together at some level.