Wireless world

Shell at the WIB. GE’s wireless II. Cybera One for Shell retail. Yokogawa’s ‘wireless anywhere.’

Shell’s Berry Mulder, speaking at the 50th anniversary meet of the Netherlands’ WIB international instrument users’ association’s seminar last month said that the wireless hype was over. It is now ‘just another way of communicating.’ Wireless is now mature enough for condition monitoring applications and with care, can be used in more critical applications. However, security, DCS integration and standardization are roadblocks to wider use.

GE has shoehorned its latest wireless router, the MDSTM Orbit MCR-4G into its ‘Industrial Internet’ marketing paradigm (Oil ITJ Jan 2013). The unit provides a secure connection from local networks across cellular networks to the office. Instrument data can be securely transmitted from the field and well workers can access the corporate network. The unit combines a WiFi hotspot with a Verizon 4G LTE modem. Security features include AES 128 bit encryption, Radius and AAA servers. The system is compliant with NERC CIP and FIPS 140-2.

Shell Oil is to decommission its VSAT satellite-based payment card solution by year end 2013. The system will be replaced by a ‘next generation’ secure internet platform with failover 3G/4G wireless connectivity. Retail outlets have the option to deploy the Cybera One secure application platform as the central network device and application server. Shell’s Scott Taylor said, ‘Cybera One addresses the whole puzzle from networking, security, broadband connectivity, point-of-sale, loyalty and future application deployment. The economics are astounding when compared to the fragmented alternatives or big box retail solutions.’

Yokogawa’s Wireless Anywhere’ concept leverages the ISA100.11a standard for plant-wide monitoring and control applications. ISA100.11a is compatible with wired communication standards such as Fieldbus, HART and Profibus.

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