Nice article, Al. I would guess we'll see increased use of wireless devices and systems in all areas of automation and control. One area that calls for wireless is difficult environments where running wire often means the cable goes through mean environments that can include grease and sitting pools of gunk. Wireless is well suited to avoid these difficult terrains.
The next step -- a very distant step, to be sure -- would be to put wireless sensors on board vehicles. With 150 pounds of wiring on vehicles today, automotive engineers would love to be able to do that.
Agree with both of you. Wireless technology is going to continue to break into new application areas and the advantages are obvious. Guaranteeing reliability and also breaking into control apps will be the big challenge.
Agree with you, Rob, wireless can solve a lot of the networking problems in an industrial setting, and is definitely one of the ways forward for enabling connectivity for a number of machines and devices. Interesting and informative article, Al.
Hey Chuck, I didn't realize there was 150 pounds of wiring in autos. That's amazing. With the big emphasis on driving down the weight of vehicles to meet CAFE standards, wireless will probably get a good look-over. I imagine it will come down to cost of wireless versus the benefits of hitting the CAFE standards.
As manufacturers add new technologies to their products, designing for compliance becomes more difficult. Prepare for the certification testing process. Otherwise, you increase the risk of discovering a safety issue after a product leaves the assembly line. That will cause significant time-to-market delays, be much costlier to fix, and damage your brand in the eyes of customers.
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