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MAR-APR 2018

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26 INTECH MARCH/APRIL 2018 WWW.ISA.ORG Swinging for the fence with wireless technology ISA100 Wireless community experience By Andre Ristaino E nd-user surveys conducted over the past five years have listed reliability and se- curity as the two most important factors inhibiting adoption of wireless technology in manufacturing. During this time, many end- user companies performed structured studies to learn for themselves what is real and what is wireless marketing hype, and the ISA100 Wire- less Compliance Institute published some of these independent studies and their findings. Here are two studies showing positive findings for wireless technology. 2014 Nippon Steel & Sumikin Engineering This project studied the reliability of ISA100 Wire- less communications and multivendor interop- erability in a steel plant. The study concluded that the reliability as measured by packet error rates was more than sufficient and recommend - ed moving forward with wireless technology. It also concluded that mixed vendor configurations demonstrated seamless interoperability. 2015 Petronas This project studied the reliability of native ISA100 Wireless communications between two floating offshore oil platforms performing re mote gas monitoring for a safety application. They were 5 km apart in the South Pacific Ocean dur- ing monsoon season. The study showed that zero packets were lost in the wireless transmis- sion between the two platforms, concluding that ISA100 Wireless was reliable in this case. Getting to the bottom of it However, not everyone is convinced, causing us to look a little deeper. Surveys conducted during 2017 Wireless Compliance Institute (WCI) end- user events repeated the same set of questions to gauge what, if anything, regarding end-user adoption of wireless technology has changed in the past five years. This time, survey results were aggregated into two groups: end users who have not im- plemented wireless technology and end users who have implemented wireless technology. We asked, "What are the key factors inhibiting adoption of wireless technology in manufactur- ing?" Response from end users who have not implemented wireless technology: 1. reliability 2. security Response from end users who have imple- mented wireless technology: 1. cost 2. availability of new applications

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