Emerson Process Management (www.emersonprocess.com) announced a partnership agreement with Cisco (www.cisco.com), a leading IT network systems developer, to develop open-standard solutions for wireless process and plant management applications in process manufacturing environments.

The agreement, made public this week at the Emerson Global Users Exchange in Dallas, Texas, is designed to offer a complete wireless solution that improves productivity, safety, and operational efficiency to manufacturing customers.

Emerson’s wireless process applications use self-organizing field networks for increased monitoring of plant data for control and asset optimization; they also offer mobile operator and maintenance worker applications. Cisco wireless plant networks offer applications, including those for worker mobility, voice over IP communications, tracking of personnel and assets, and video applications.

“Since introducing Smart Wireless field networks a year ago, we’ve been excited at the high customer interest and their quickly realized business results,” said John Berra, president of Emerson Process Management, in a prepared statement. “We are pleased to be working with Cisco to extend our offering to include wireless plant network solutions with the security and reliability required in the process environment. The combined field and plant communications platform supports current and future applications that help enable faster and more effective business management over the life of the plant. Additionally, Cisco’s commitment to open standards makes it an ideal partner for Emerson and our customers.”

Emerson and Cisco have developed a services plan to design, specify, install and support wireless solutions for customers worldwide. Emerson’s wireless platform is intended to extend the Smart Wireless capabilities of PlantWeb digital plant architecture to include wireless plant networks. The networks use the Cisco Unified Wireless Architecture, offering industrial-class wireless access points, controllers and network management software, and plant applications, such as communication, tracking, and worker mobility tools.

Emerson will use the Cisco Unified Wireless Architecture in an effort to provide ubiquitous, highly secure wireless LAN coverage and integration within the plant’s existing IT infrastructure; thus eliminating the need for a complex wireless overlay network. Cisco’s Wireless Control System will centralize the configuration and management of the plant’s Wi-Fi network, reducing overall cost of ownership.