Industrial wireless market to show five-fold growth
29 Jun 2012
San Diego, California — The worldwide market for industrial wireless sensor networks (WSNs) has doubled over the past two years, and is set to grow five-fold to 2016, reports ON World, a San Diego-based technology research firm.
A new ON World analysis, titled “Industrial Wireless Sensor Networks,” covers the global market for industrial WSNs. Protocols covered include 802.15.4 (mesh and non-mesh), WiFi and other wireless technologies including point-to-point/point-to-multipoint systems.
Early adopters have demonstrated that WSN is secure, reliable and can be targeted at new monitoring and control applications, said ON World – adding that it had identified several wireless deployments with over 3,000 WSN nodes.
“The migration to standards-based wireless mesh systems in the process automation space has replaced proprietary systems faster than our 2010 survey indicated,” said Mareca Hatler, ON World’s research director.
“However, competition for WSN protocols continues to be intense and point-to-point and point-to-multipoint wireless systems are experiencing high growth rates in key verticals, such as oil and gas,” she added.
For its 2012 report, ON World collaborated with the International Society of Automation (ISA), HART Communication Foundation (HCF) and the Wireless Industrial Networking Alliance (WINA), and surveyed 216 industrial automation professionals.
The study found that around 70% of the end users are planning WSN or additional WSN deployments within the next 18 months. Meanwhile, Hatler said “an approximately an equal number of respondents preferred WirelessHART or a hybrid strategy that includes WirelessHART and ISA100.11a.”
The standards migration is changing the industrial WSN landscape, noted the report, citing Linear’s acquisition of Dust Networks and a growing number of new entrants such as AwiaTech, E-Senza and Softing that are focused on open platforms and lowering development costs.
Industrial wireless sensing and control opportunities are also growing for non-mesh 802.15.4, WiFi, Bluetooth/802.15.1 and Ultra Wideband, said On World.
Installed wireless industrial field devices are predicted to increase by 553% between 2011 and 2016. There will then be nearly 24 million wireless-enabled sensors and actuators, or sensing points, deployed worldwide – around 40% of which will be used for new applications that are only feasible with wireless sensing.