As vice-president of Technology Automation Control Solutions at Honeywell, Daniel Sheflin heads a division that is a world leader in wireless sensor solutions in home and industry. In this role, Daniel Sheflin is largely responsible for anticipating and meeting future demands for industrial wireless sensor networks.
Recent market studies have suggested that wireless sensor technology will significantly increase in coming years. An ON World survey of industrial automation professionals in 2012 suggests this is largely due to increasing industry awareness of the technology, improved reliability of such systems, and widespread adoption of standards. In fact, almost 60 percent of end user respondents indicated they were or soon would be using wireless sensor networks. According to two separate studies released in March and June 2013, the market for industrial wireless sensor networks is expected to grow by roughly 15 percent per year over the next five years.
The primary driving force behind this expansion is the very obvious fact that wireless solutions do not use wires. Such sensors are deployed for applications where wires are a hindrance: for rotating equipment, or inside furnaces, for example. In addition, wireless systems are easier to troubleshoot because it is simpler to isolate a problem at only the transmitting or receiving end, with no intervening hardware to complicate matters. Finally, wireless sensors are more cost effective, as they are easier to troubleshoot and also require less infrastructure, like conduits.
The advantages of wireless sensor networks will likely open up exciting and unanticipated new applications in the near-term, as the technology becomes more widely integrated into industrial processes across the board.