Skip to main content

Wireless IoT Applications within Industrial Automation

The technologies associated with the internet of things (IoT) and machine to machine (M2M) connectivity are enabling a new wave of wireless networking applications within the industrial automation sector.

According to the latest global market study by Berg Insight, annual shipments of wireless devices for industrial automation applications reached 4.6 million units worldwide in 2018, accounting for approximately 6 percent of all new connected nodes.

Growing at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 16.3 percent, annual shipments are expected to reach 9.9 million in 2023. Moreover, the installed base of wireless IoT devices in industrial automation applications reached 21.3 million units in 2018.

Industrial Automation Market Development

While wired networking solutions are still predominantly used for industrial communications between sensors, controllers and systems, wireless solutions have gained a strong foothold in a number of applications.

Wireless solutions are used for wire replacement in parts of the plant that are hard to reach or uneconomical to connect through wired installations. In factory automation, wireless solutions are widely used to control cranes and automated guided vehicles (AGVs) in material handling applications.

In process automation, wireless technologies are increasingly used to connect instruments, enabling plant operators to monitor and optimize processes in hazardous areas, while also ensuring worker safety.

Leading systems vendors of wired industrial network equipment also offer wireless solutions to enable customers to monitor and control devices wirelessly in parts of the plant that are normally not connected to the control room due to accessibility or wiring costs.

These vendors include Siemens, Cisco, Belden, Moxa and Phoenix Contact, which all offer comprehensive portfolios of industrial wireless devices such as routers, gateways and wireless access points along with their wired solutions.

Industrial wireless solutions are also offered by many mid and small-sized companies, which often specialise in specific product categories. Wireless I/O and field devices are provided by the major industrial automation vendors including Emerson, Yokogawa, Honeywell, ABB, Schneider Electric, Siemens, Endress+Hauser and Pepperl+Fuchs.

"Robust connectivity is critical to support industrial IoT use cases surrounding predictive maintenance and digital twins," said Fredrik Stålbrand, IoT Analyst at Berg Insight.

According to the Berg assessment, Installation and maintenance of wireless solutions are more flexible and economical compared to wired technologies, enabling reconfigurable manufacturing system design.

Outlook for Wireless IoT Applications Growth

Although reliability and security remain a challenge, Wi-Fi has emerged as the most widely used wireless technology in industrial environments largely due to the wide availability of compatible hardware.

There is also a growing trend among large industrial companies to deploy private 4G LTE networks instead of using Wi-Fi and even wired solutions.

"The introduction of 5G cellular technologies broadens the addressable market for wireless communications even further as it allows for deployments in situations where requirements related to bandwidth, latency and capacity cannot be fulfilled today" concluded Mr. Stålbrand.

Popular posts from this blog

Why Healthcare and Smart City Apps Drive 5G IoT

Fifth-generation (5G) wireless technology for cellular networks is a successor to fourth-generation (4G) wireless technology. By 2023, Juniper Research anticipates that there will be over 1 billion 5G connections globally. The technology will provide the data infrastructure for the advancement of wireless communications and for new developments in the Internet of Things (IoT) -- including smart cities and healthcare. 5G IoT Market Development According to the latest worldwide market study by Juniper Research, 5G IoT connections will reach 116 million globally by 2026 -- that's increasing from just 17 million connections in 2023. Juniper analysts predict that the healthcare sector applications and government or other smart city services will drive this outstanding 1,100 percent growth over the next three years. Juniper examined 5G adoption across key industry sectors -- such as the automotive, mobile broadband, and smart homes -- and forecasts healthcare and smart cities will accoun

How Savvy Leaders Re-Imagine Work in 2023

As we look to the year ahead, there will be significant challenges and opportunities facing the Chief Human Resource Officer (CHRO) role. In order to be successful, savvy HR leaders must be prepared to take proactive steps that adapt and evolve. "HR leaders have faced an increasingly unpredictable environment amid many organizations mandating a return to office, permanently higher turnover and burnt out employees," said Emily Rose McRae, senior director at Gartner . HR Innovation Market Development One of Gartner's key predictions for 2023 is that the use of artificial intelligence (AI) and automation will continue to increase within the enlightened digital workplace. This transition will require HR leaders to develop new skills and competencies in order to effectively manage and lead teams that are increasingly relying on these enabling technologies. Additionally, HR leaders will need to ensure that their organizations are investing in the necessary infrastructure and re

Top 10 CFO Priorities Require Rethinking Finance

The Chief Financial Officer (CFO) role is essential to digital business growth. While CFOs do not get closely involved in the tactical details of the digital transformation of their functions, they still recognize its strategic importance. According to the latest survey by Gartner, CFOs are faced with the challenge of balancing the need for substantive digital business innovation with financial cost control and risk management. "CFOs will be stretched thinly across many activities in 2023. The survey revealed a wide range of actions CFOs plan to either lead or be significantly involved with," said Marko Horvat, vice president at Gartner. Survey Findings: The Top Ten Priorities Cost Optimization - Cost reduction remains the top priority for CFOs as they look for ways to cut costs and improve efficiency in their operations. This includes identifying cost-saving opportunities through automation, outsourcing, and business process improvement. Business Continuity - The global C