Today, sensors have become an integral part of various industries. The high-volume application of sensors has increased their efficiencies and economies of scale. This in turn has lowered prices and is further promoting adoption of sensor networks for different applications. Industries across the globe are increasingly adopting sensor networks in order to monitor various processes. Wireless sensor networks are distributed sensing platforms with wireless communication and controlling capabilities. Further, industrial wireless sensor networks (ISWN) are low cost and can be deployed faster. Wireless sensor networks are increasingly replacing the existing wired sensor networks due to considerable benefits offered by wireless solutions. ISWN solutions have demonstrated significant return on investment (ROI) in industrial applications. Further, deployment of ISWN results in savings in terms of labor, materials and energy. Also, it creates process improvement through enhanced monitoring from anywhere. Moreover, wireless networks also offer the capability to be integrated to smartphones and are more in tune with the increasing bring your own device (BYOD) trend. An enhancement in productivity has been observed when network and system operators do not have to travel frequently for system maintenance or to obtain data at remote ends. ISWN solutions are better suited for hazardous or hard-to-reach zones in different industries such as mining or chemicals.
A major challenge for the growth of industrial wireless sensor networks market has been the availability of multiple wireless communication standards leading to very little interoperability between the various sensors networks. However, during the last few years, emergence of standard communication protocols has boosted the adoption of wireless sensor networks across various industries. IWSN forms a part of industrial automation solution and is used for purposes such as monitoring events and periodic data collection. Significant growth in demand for automation solutions is also leading to growth of industrial wireless sensor networks market. Further, growing trend of smart factories, growing connectivity among various industrial processes and growing use of machine-to-machine (M2M) solutions are positively impacting ISWN market. Technological advancements in wireless communication, availability of miniaturized solutions, and enhancement in power efficiency are leading to the growth of wireless sensor networks market for challenging industrial environments. Growing investments in smart cities is expected to emerge as a key opportunity for the players operating in wireless sensor networks market. However, concerns regarding the security of network and data in wireless networks remain a concern in ISWN market.
Various communication technologies being used in ISWN include Bluetooth Wi-Fi, WLAN, Zigbee, ISA100.11a and WirelessHART. During the last few years, the preference for WIrelessHART and hybrid technology (combination of WirelessHART and ISA100.11a) has grown among various end-users. ISWN is finding growing demand from various end-use sectors such as automotive, aerospace and defense, machinery and discrete mechanical parts manufacturing, electrical and electronics manufacturing, energy and utility, chemicals, consumer packaged goods, and pharmaceuticals. North America has been a major region with respect to the adoption of ISWN solutions; however, Asia Pacific is experiencing fast growth in adoption of ISWN across different industry sectors. This is owing to continued significant growth in industrial activity in the region and growing demand for process optimization. Further, increased availability of wireless technology solutions at a reduced cost is also helping the growth of ISWN solutions in the region.
Market for ISWN is fragmented with significant competition among players. Key players in ISWN market include Schneider Electric SA (Accutech), Apprion, Inc., Atmel Corporation, Digi International, Inc., Dust Networks, Inc., Endress+Hauser, Emerson Process Management, Freescale Semiconductor, Inc., Honeywell International, Inc., Lantronix, Inc., Millennial Net, Inc., SynapSense Corporation, Texas Instruments, Inc., Tridium (an independent business unit of Honeywell International, Inc.), VIAgents, and Yokogawa Electric Corporation.