Measuring the Effect of Wireless Sensor Network Communications on Industrial Process Performance
Richard Candell, Kang B. Lee
Real-time sensor data is essential for making decisions in controlling industrial processes. Wireless sensor networks (WSN's) are becoming more common for industrial processes and condition monitoring. However, wireless communication is subject to interference and thus may affect critical industrial operations. A wireless testbed was developed to study how various wireless sensor network configurations and topologies affect the performance and safety of manufacturing plant operations. A continuous process chemical plant operation was adopted and run in simulation. The chemical process adopted is the Tennessee Eastman Challenge Process with the Lawrence Ricker decentralized controller. The simulated process with sensor output is interfaced to an IEEE 802.15.4-based wireless sensor network via a programmable logic controller (PLC). This integration of the simulated physical system with a real wireless network allows us to examine the effects of real-time wireless communications in a factory running different wireless activities on simulated plant processes. This paper describes the testbed and presents preliminary results of the study.
Proceedings of the 2015 ISA Process Control & Safety Symposium