Industrial applications are supported with in-process radio telemetry components, industrial heating, surge protection for data, AC Power and SCADA. Design applications cross with those of WiFi and industrial as increased use of non-wired connections is established. Technology is helping companies manage delivery timing and stock control with development of sensors using wireless; enabling miniaturisation and lower power consumption.
Industrial applications of Programmable logic controller (PLCs ) provide boolean logic operations, timers and continuous control. PLCs are used extensively in process-based industries. PLCs are computer-based solid-state devices that control industrial equipment and processes. While PLCs can control system components used throughout SCADA and DCS systems, they are often the primary components in smaller control system configurations. They are used to provide regulatory control of discrete processes such as automobile assembly lines and power plant soot blower controls and are used extensively in almost all industrial processes.
Industrial automation needs both wired and wireless control methodologies and these environments can be subjected to external risk from internally generated surges and externally generated lightning. Mitigation of this risk enables smooth running of processes 365 days and 24 hours a day.
Industrial applications will also grow to utilise machine to machine interfacing with advances in network monitoring and IoT, companies such as SigFox have been established. Sigfox builds wireless networks to connect low-energy objects such as electricity meters, smartwatches, and washing machines, which need to be continuously on and emitting small amounts of data. Its technology is aimed at the Internet of Things (IoT).
Sigfox devices cannot carry heavy amounts of data, being able to handle approximately 12 bytes per message, and at the same time no more than 140 messages per device per day. However, this enables the transmission of simple messages. This is due to the fact that with 12 bytes one can represent any number between 1 and 79 octillion, which translates as a myriad control codes, used for applications such as geolocation and tracking; monitoring a public defibrillator station to know when someone uses it; or parking space monitoring and billing. Sigfox devices can work up to 20 years off two AA batteries, due to the fact it “wakes up whenever it sends a message, and then it goes back to sleep.
Industrial Heating is also an emerging use of Microwave technology with Ignition systems for vehicles and industrial lighting, advances in Medical imaging and power sources for Microwave ovens. Solid state devices are starting to offer alternatives to Magnetron tubes for energy generation. Solid-state RF energy offers benefits of low-voltage drive, semiconductor-type reliability & smaller form factor. Perhaps its most compelling attributes are fast frequency-, phase- and power-agility complemented by hyper-precision. The technology attributes improvements in process control range, even energy distribution, and fast adaption to changing load conditions. GaN-on-Si technology offers the unique benefit of GaN efficiency at silicon cost structures, enabling market-wide magnetron replacement to become a reality, meeting both the technical challenge with 70% efficiency at 2.45GHz. GaN-based microwave oven lifetimes should improve 10X from current magnetron models.