Wireless technologies have evolved drastically in a short span. A top-notch wireless experience is a benchmark of any corporate sector or carpeted office environment. The excellence in communication all over the world for any industry is the foundation of their success. Improved communication between the production and distribution units inevitably affects their reliability, availability, and maintainability. This minimizes capital investments, operational costs, and support costs. Industrial strength wireless networks provide accurate, real-time information for managing operations and tracking inventory while ensuring remote communications in the industrial environment.
However, a majority of plant operators or managers of the industries are reluctant in improving the quality of the WLAN experience. Deployment of industrial wireless radios requires thoughtful planning, designing, and frequent monitoring to meet expectations for bandwidth, reliability, and security. The benefits of an industrial wireless radio in its full potential are unimaginable.
Here are a few ways in which you can easily optimize your industrial wireless network.
5 Key Methods
1. Choose a Suitable Location: Central location can provide the best coverage of signal across the entire building. For example, in a two-storeyed building, keeping the router on a high shelf on the first floor can provide strong signal strength to both stories. Also walls, floors, metal objects can interfere with or weaken wireless signals.
Also, router antennas can broadcast in all directions. So keeping a router near the wall will broadcast half of the wireless signals to the outside world. It is better to have removable antennas so that the router’s wireless signal can be directed as per the need.
2. Overcome Channel Saturation by Using 5 GHz Channel: In regular Wifi communication all industrial wireless networks are configured with the same channel settings and operating in the same area. So, technically they are sharing the same transmission medium. So, you need to take into account all radio devices in that area when evaluating the utilization of a channel. Along with it, you need to consider all other communicating devices nearby such as Bluetooth, ZigBee & Microwaves. So it will be crowded and not recommended for industrial purposes.
The 5 GHz frequency provides a wide range of non-overlapping channels. Hence in an industrial environment, deploying devices with a 5-GHz wireless radio along with the DFS function allows one to choose the clearest communication medium.
3. Sufficient AP Coverage: In the changing dynamics of the 21st century, the nature of industrial environments can be quite unpredictable. So, the WLAN network has to adapt rapidly. Wireless networks must be sustainable and need to support the constant movement of people, equipment, materials, and merchandise. It should also have a reliable M2M connection to empower automation and should be self-healing to provide continuous uptime.
Both 2.4 GHz and 5GHz based wireless communication require a clear line of sight between the AP and the clients. To avoid connection obstruction, the distribution of APs can be a way out. But it is too costly. Extending the client radio’s antenna installation to achieve proper line-of-sight between the APs and client can also provide tangible benefits.
4. Scientific Distance Calculation: A high transmission rate needs a strong signal. Insufficient wireless radio strength will result in low output or even disconnection. There are several ways to optimize signal strength. Installing high-gain antennas or switching to lower frequencies like 900 MHz can serve the purpose. A wireless distance calculator can be used to estimate theoretical models of the area that can be confirmed by a physical survey of the site. planning the long-distance communication parameters for the network using a distance calculator and verifying the results through an actual site survey to gain more control over the wireless bandwidth and capacity of the network is a great idea.
5. Update the Network Adapter Driver: Updating the router regularly can increase its power and performance. You can receive the latest firmware updates by visiting the official website of the company. Network adapter vendors also occasionally update the software or driver that Windows uses to communicate with your network adapter. These updates can improve performance and reliability.
The fast way of digital life
Along with these, you can opt for various ways like, reduce the wireless interface, replace card-based wireless networks with a USB wireless network adapter that uses an external antenna. Using a wireless repeater, changing your wireless channel, and last but not the least, upgrading 802.11a, 802.11b, 802.11g devices to 802.11n will definitely help to improve the capacity of the wireless network.