“When you’re putting them on an oil platform or in a factory or on a motor or in a steel mill or in a paper mill, in those really harsh environments, they need to have pressure washdown and extreme temperature capability, -40 to +85°C is traditional,” explains John Tuley, from IoT Business Development -Sensor Solutions at TE Connectivity. “That’s what customers ask for in the industrial space. They want it to last.”
The packaging allows the sensor to survive in Industrial 4.0 wireless applications. LoRa, narrowband IoT (NB-IoT), Bluetooth and Zigbee are among the wireless technologies involved in industrial automation today.
“In the factory, we see LoRa and NB-IoT primarily being the leaders today and they seem to be the ones that are going to be moving forward,” says Tuley. “For local [communications], Bluetooth is winning out because it is everywhere and it’s easy to do.”
The noisy factory environment has typically been an unacceptable place for older wireless technologies. However, this is among the more recent changes. Newer protocols, like LoRa, are very noise immune so you can put them in a noisy environment and still have an acceptable signal. Today, a gateway on the top of the factory can communicate with LoRa networked sensors on the factory floor.
“When you demonstrate it to customers they say, ‘Wow. This is great,’” says Tuley. “Then they can truly deploy them and have a reliable networking system.”
“If you go another five years, I think you are going to see 5G connected devices that have very low latency that can be used in some control applications, especially in those very hard to reach or very dangerous areas,” predicts Tuley. “For monitoring, 5G is already there.”
Today, for local measurements and connectivity, the M5600 series wireless pressure transducer provides remote process control and monitoring via Bluetooth® 4.0 wireless communication. In addition to a high accuracy, 24-bit ADC digital output, the compact battery powered sensor is enclosed in a stainless steel and polycarbonate housing and weatherproof to IP66/IP67 requirements.