The Profibus user organization (PNO), Fieldbus Foundation (FF) and the Hart Communication Foundation (HCF) are currently working hard to develop an architecture for a wireless hard gateway. The background is that although the process industry appreciates the benefits of wireless communication, it still does not use it enough. Wireless Hart uses a mesh network, which means that each device can generate or receive signals (sensors / actuators) and pass them on to surrounding devices (repeater function). According to the users, the biggest obstacle to the implementation of wireless systems is the time-consuming integration of wireless hard-mesh networks into the existing world of automation.
The Gateway is intended to enable bi-directional communication of a wireless hard-mesh network with a host via the PROFIBUS or Profinet PNO protocols or the Fieldbus Foundation's HSE protocol (High Speed Ethernet). The device provides a consistent overall architecture and simplifies integration between different host automation systems. The I / O mapping of the wireless sensor parameters (device address, device identifiers, process variables, process alarms, etc.) and the use of device description files is also treated uniformly in the Profibus, Profinet and HSE protocols.
With this architecture, manufacturers are able to provide marketable gateway products and the appropriate configuration software. Similar to the already successful collaboration of the three organizations on the Electronic Device Description Language (EDDL), the agreement on a common architecture of the gateway is another step towards open systems for end users in process automation.