Control Using Wireless Devices – Namur’s Interest

Earlier this year, the Namur Working Group 4.15 invited Emerson and four other major manufactures of distributed control systems and wireless transmitters to present their activities and R&D work concerning closed loop real time control applications based on wireless technology. In this meeting with Working Group 4.15, each vendor was given one hour for their presentation and questions and answer. During each vendor’s presentation, only members of Working Group 4.15 were present. Namur requested that the presentations avoid general information and to concentrate on wireless control R+D activities and examples.

As detailed on the NAMUR web site, Namur is an international user association of automation technology in process industries. Member companies pool their experience to set user requirements on new devices, systems and technologies, and participate in national and international standardization bodies. NAMUR represents approx. 15,000 PCS experts, of whom approx. 300 are active in the 33 working groups that cover the fields of measurement & control, automation, communication, process control and electrical engineering over the entire life-cycle of systems, including planning, procurement, installation, operation as well as maintenance. Namur’s recommendations have significant influence within the process industry. Within Namur, the Working Group 4.15 has been established to address Wireless Automation. Members of this group are some of the top international experts on process control. Thus, it is a real honor to be given an opportunity address this group.

Over the last two years, Namur has sponsored field trails to evaluate the reliability of WirelessHART devices. The feedback I have gotten indicates the installations have shown the technology to be highly reliable. Many Namur member companies I have recently talked with have significant installations of WirelessHART devices in monitoring applications. However, often times where there are economic benefits for installing WirelessHART vs a wired transmitter there is also a requirement that the measurement be used in closed loop control. Thus, many Namur member companies are interested in knowing whether WirelessHART transmitters can be successfully used in closed loop control applications without compromising control performance.

To address questions that Namur had on doing closed loop control using wireless devices, I worked with Mark Nixon and Marty Zielinski to put together a presentation on Emerson’s research and development of PID modifications that enable control applications to be successfully addressed using WirelessHART transmitters. In particular this was an opportunity to discuss the PIDPlus capability in DeltaV v11.3 that is specifically designed to address control using wireless devices. Also, in the presentation we provided information on example installations where PIDPlus has been using with WirelessHART transmitters in closed loop control. This blog series on Control with Wireless devices will be based on the key points contained in our Namur presentation.

The meeting with Namur occurred earlier this month, February 16th , and was held at the BP Gelsenkirchen refinery in Germany. The outline of our presentation was:

  • Wireless Impact on Control
  • Modified PID for Wireless Measurements
  • Performance Comparison to Wired Transmitter
  • Addressing Lost Communications
  • Test results – Field Installations
  • Conclusion

The information presented in this blog series will follow the order shown above.  If you are considering using WirelessHART transmitters in closed loop control then I hope you find this blog series helps you successfully address your control applications.