WiFi vs Industrial Wireless - What is the Difference?

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RealPars
Published at : 29 Dec 2020
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⌚Timestamps:
00:00 - Intro
01:07 - Data volume
01:43 - Industrial Wireless data
02:28 - Battery life
03:01 - Industrial Wireless battery consumption
04:08 - Reliability
04:30 - Industrial Wireless Reliability
07:29 - ISA100 Wireless

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After watching this video you will be able to easily explain the difference between a typical wireless network that we use at home or the office, like WiFi, and an industrial wireless network.

The two major types of wireless networks are different in terms of the amount of data that they typically send and receive, the battery life of the devices used in these networks, and how important the reliability of the data is to the user.

1) Data volume
The main difference between a typical wireless network compared to an industrial network is the amount of data that is usually sent and received between devices.

A WiFi network is designed for devices that send and receive large amounts of data.
Examples of these large amounts of data packages are videos on the internet, images, web pages, etc. these are what we consider large data packages.

In contrast, an industrial wireless system is designed for devices that only need to send and receive a small amount of data.

An example is the small amount of data that a gas pressure sensor in an industrial process needs to send to the controller. The data exchanged may be as simple as a tag name and process variable.

This represents only a few words of data that are sent from a device in the field to a controller in the control room, wirelessly every few seconds.

So in an industrial wireless network, we send tiny packages of data in a relatively short period of time about the status of an industrial process.

2) Battery life
Since a typical wireless network such as WiFi or Bluetooth is designed to send and receive large amounts of data, the devices that are used in these networks such as laptops or smartphones consume a lot of battery in a relatively short period of time.

Because of this, you need to charge these devices every few hours or days depending on how much you’re using the device.

But this is totally different with the devices that are used in an industrial wireless network. An Industrial wireless network is designed to send and receive small amounts of data.

Because of this, the devices that are used in these networks such as wireless sensors and actuators consume very little battery in a relatively large period of time.

As a result, these industrial wireless devices can often operate for years without any need for a battery charge.

This is a fundamental difference, in terms of battery life, between a device that is used in a typical wireless network such as WiFi and a device that is used in an industrial wireless network such as IIoT.

3) Reliability
When you are using your smartphone in a typical wireless network such as WiFi, it is ok to lose the connection from time to time.

But when it comes to an industrial wireless network such as IIoT, this is not acceptable.
In an industrial wireless network, the reliability and the accuracy of the data that is sent and received are very critical.

If the data that is sent from the wireless sensor gets interrupted, the controller which works as the brain of the system will not be provided with the required input data to be able to send a correct output command to an output device such as a valve.

One of the most reliable and accurate industrial wireless protocols that you can use to build your industrial wireless network is ISA100 Wireless.

This industrial wireless protocol is developed and maintained by ISA, which is the organization responsible for the development of the standards and the certifications for the industrial automation industry worldwide.

To learn more about ISA100 (@International Society of Automation - ISA ) head on over to https://isa100wci.org

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