Cables are often out of place in process technology, because operational reliability in harsh environments such as cement or gravel works or in open-cast ore mining places the highest demands on reliable communication lines. Industrial wireless technology reliably meets all the requirements of these special applications and is also cost-saving.
Operational safety and high availability in systems engineering rank first in process industry. Applying radio data links in applications with moving plant components in which permanently installed cables are ruled out and exposed cables or sliding contacts in view of harsh operating conditions are prone to disturbance and represent a security risk is particularly attractive. Plant extensions is often given priority over new installations. However, integrating additional plant parts in an existing control network by cable is only possible with a great deal of effort, which years ago resulted in applying radio links as a problem solver on trial. Meanwhile, skepticism with regard to their operational safety in the harsh environment of process technological plants – for example power plants, open cast mining plants, steel and cement plants, gravel plants and the like – has given way to conviction that using data radio enables coping with many requirements in a reliable and even cost-saving manner.