Yokogawa Corporation of America: Pioneering Field Wireless Systems for Process Industries

CIO VendorPenny Chen PhD, Principal System Architect, Yokogawa Strategic Tec
Wireless instrumentation is creating a lot of enthusiasm in process industries across the globe. Their usage in the industrial automation systems offers number of benefits from cost reduction brought by elimination of wiring to better plant information, improved productivity and better asset management. However the introduction of wireless communication to plants should be supported by features such as robustness, real-time responsiveness, and low power consumption. This has restricted the use of wireless communication to limited applications such as data logging and device status monitoring that does not require strict real-time responsiveness. However the introduction of ISA100.11a, a wireless communication standard for industrial automation, in September 2009 has brought the much anticipated change to this scenario. The very next year Yokogawa, headquarter based on Tokyo, released the world’s first wireless sensor network technology and the devices based on the ISA100.11a standard. Yokogawa ISA100.11a solutions allow process plant sensors and devices under single wireless infrastructure to address aforementioned challenges. “Yokogawa is committed to the emerging wireless technologies as a way forward in implementing total solutions with wireless sensor networks to enhance the functionality of Distributed Control System (DCS) and plant asset management,” Penny Chen, PhD, Principal System Architect, Yokogawa Strategic Technology Market Center (USMK).

Yokogawa’s ISA100.11a wireless system saves money by using less hardware to cover larger areas. The company’s access points and wireless transmitters cover up to 3 km between devices using their remote antenna option. Yokogawa combines the best of ISA100.11a wireless technology with its design expertise to build a very reliable radio-link feature and calls it “Reliable Radio”. It covers 600 square meter area and can support as many as 500 field devices reliably. Furthermore, Yokogawa wireless solution also enhance the network stability over the “Reliable Radio” full system redundancy technology in order to carry out the high reliable and control application requirement.

Yokogawa is committed to the emerging wireless technologies as a way forward in implementing total solutions with wireless sensor networks

Also, the company promotes “Wireless Anywhere” concept to make the wireless network work seamlessly with diverse devices and advanced information technologies used at production sites. It will ensure responses in real time by making use of state-of-the-art dual redundant technologies. “Our wireless physical layer (Reliable Radio) and system redundancy technologies ensure a high level of reliability,” says Penny. With ISA100.11a Duocast technology, each field device simultaneously sends the same data to two designated access points, ensuring uninterrupted communication in the event of failure at one point. “The redundant gateways and systems further strengthen the reliability of our wireless systems,” she adds. Additionally, the use of ISA100.11 standards in Yokogawa’s offerings ensures high reliability, application flexibility, network expandability, and compatibility with a variety of wired communication standards such as FOUNDATIONTM fieldbus, HART®,PROFIBUS, etc.

The company’s wireless technologies find traction across many process industries such as Coal Bunkers, Natural Gas Plants, Oil refinery and upstream, Steel Plants, Water Treatment Plants and more. Going forward, Yokogawa is embarking on to aggressively promote its “Wireless Anywhere” concept to widen the use of ISA100.11a compliant products and related services to achieve the concept of ideal plants. “We will continue to develop field wireless devices for both monitoring and control applications, combine with our industrial partner, and with our customers to assure their long-term growth through ideal plant operations,” concludes Penny.

Yokogawa Corporation of America


Penny Chen PhD, Principal System Architect, Yokogawa Strategic Tec

Yokogawa provides worldwide services and solutions for industrial automation, process control, test and measurement, and system integration with award winning customer focus and technical expertise.