Yokogawa ISA100 wireless adaptor for digital sensors

An interesting development to be shown at the ARC Industry Forum in Orlando next week, 10-13 February, is the Yokogawa multi-protocol wireless adaptor, which enables normally-wired digital field instruments to function as ISA100 Wireless devices.

The apparent Yokogawa “first” here is to adapt the typical wireless “Thumb” that can piggy back on a 4-20mA transmitter, or in some cases can power such a 4mA device, and extract the Process Variable information. The new Yokogawa unit appears to be able to power a device, but in addition digitally communicate with the communications system used and extract the full digital data. The first such units, which transmit this data over the Yokogawa preferred ISA100 network, are able to interrogate standard HART and RS485  Modbus based digital sensors.

From later in the year they are scheduling the release of models that can interface with other communications standards, such as Foundation Fieldbus and Profibus!

For the customer/user, this gives an opportunity to standardise on stock, using only one model of sensor for a particular analytical duty for example, but then being able to transmit that data over conventional wiring, or via ISA100 wireless, whichever is more appropriate for the installation. Plus they still would have access to the sensor diagnostics and calibration parameters.

An essential option will be options that are (a) waterproof and dustproof, and (b) an explosion-protected version, presumably intrinsically safe, that can be used in the presence of inflammable gases.

Yokogawa released their ISA100 field wireless system in July 2012, and is effectively now expanding the capabilities of this by extending the range of suitable monitoring and control applications for wireless technologies and devices into the standard sensors in use on site – in addition of course to the specific wireless sensors they have produced.

Hopefully the ARC Forum will show whether this wireless adaptor is indeed as versatile as is assumed, and we look forward to seeing the Yokogawa offer the promised further models.

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