Fieldbus organisations get together to provide simplified wireless communication

06 September 2011

In a bid to convince the process industry to make the best use of wireless communication technology, PROFIBUS & PROFINET International (PI), Fieldbus Foundation (FF) and the HART Communication Foundation are currently working on the development of an architecture for a WirelessHART gateway.

WirelessHART uses a mesh network which means that each device can generate or receive signals and pass them on to surrounding devices. According to users the greatest obstacle encountered when implementing wireless systems is the complicated integration of WirelessHART mesh networks into the existing automation environment.

The gateway is being designed to facilitate the bi-directional communication of a WirelessHART mesh network with a host via the PI protocols PROFIBUS or PROFINET or the Fieldbus Foundation’s High Speed Ethernet protocol. The device ensures a standardised global architecture and simplifies integration between different host automation systems. The I/O mapping of the wireless-sensor-parameters (device address, device designation, process variables, process alarms etc.) and the use of the device description files are likewise standardised in the PROFIBUS, PROFINET and HSE protocols.

This architecture puts manufacturers in a position to provide gateway products as well as the corresponding configuration software. As with the previously successful cooperation between the three organizations on the Electronic Device Description Language (EDDL), this agreement on a common architecture for the gateway is a further step towards open systems for end-users in process automation.

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