Design & Implementation – Best Practices

While every process facility is unique in its own way, there are some best practices for wireless field network design that can be applied to most systems.

Scope the Project

The first step is to develop the scope of the network. For large facilities, the network should be scoped to a single process unit. For vertically arranged facilities such as power plants, the self-organizing network should be scoped to a single floor.

Plot the Devices & Network Connections

AMS Device Manager with AMS Wireless SNAP-ON application includes tools to help you easily plan and incorporate best practices into your design. Instead of needing an in-depth site survey, you can upload an image of the plant into the application to plan the wireless network. You can simply drag and drop devices and gateways on the plant image. Emerson has developed guidelines to help you design a robust self-organizing network and the AMS Wireless SNAP-ON application will validate your network against best practices.

Place the Smart Wireless Gateway

In small networks, the Smart Wireless Gateway should be located in the center of the network. An Uninterruptible Power Supply (UPS) is recommended for the gateway. Lightning protection and earth grounds installed by certified electricians are recommended for gateways with either integral or remote antennas.

The Smart Wireless Gateway has many integration options including Ethernet, Modbus, and OPC. For large networks or applications that require the Smart Wireless Gateway to be mounted inside a control room or rack room with a remote antenna, it is best practice to build the initial self-organizing network around the location of the Smart Wireless Gateway. Then the network can be expanded to reach remote areas of the process unit.