Radio Frequency & Wireless Sensors In Your Plant

RF and Wireless Devices for Your Plant

Wireless technology has become a viable tool for factory floor control and monitoring, providing a range of cost savings and efficiency opportunities for your operations. This technology can be used to perform simple functions such as recording when an outside door is opened, alerting someone of hazardous conditions in remote locations and starting and stopping processes remotely. It can also be used to control and monitor more complex applications such as temperature, pressure, moisture and vibration monitoring from process or predictive maintenance transmitters.

What’s more, the FCC does not require licensing for RF communication devices in industrial, scientific and medical settings, as long as power levels are 1 Watt or below (900 MHz, 2.4 GHz and 5.8 GHz bands).

Benefits of Wireless Devices

When compared to running separate wires and conduits to and from multiple locations, you can realize immediate installation cost savings. Setting up and maintaining wireless systems can also be simpler than setting up and maintaining wired systems. This is why wireless home alarm systems have become very popular, eliminating the need to run individual wires to each door, window, fire sensor and CO2 sensor from the main station. Similar solutions have been made available in the industrial marketplace.

Wireless Decision Criteria

With an abundance of wireless options on the market, you need to ask a few fundamental questions about your needs and applications to determine which system is right for you. Questions include:

  • What equipment needs to be sensed or controlled?
  • What type of information will be transmitted?
  • How often do I need to send and/or receive information?
  • What does the environment around the sensor look like?
  • What is the distance between transmitter and receiver?
  • What obstacles exist between the transmitter and receiver?
  • Is power available at both ends?
  • Will I need to plan for expansion in the future?
  • What happens if the signal is lost?
  • Are there any safety issues?

Battery powered versions of some sensors are available where power is not available in remote areas, and several manufacturers carry “batteryless” versions of common operators for control and monitoring applications. Whatever your application may be, a wireless solution may be available.

If you would like assistance to explore how wireless sensors would work in your facility, please comment below or use our form to contact your local Kaman representative.

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Tim Tiebert
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