Wireless Infrastructure Installation

Industrial communication network infrastructure options are diverse and usually complex. When they aren’t as reliable as they need to be, the process results in unplanned downtime or worse. Most problems result from the components selected, installation practices or design. However, with a solid architecture plan, the system will perform as intended.

The challenge is that industrial networks aren’t built from the ground up. A company’s network is usually developed in steps that grow with the life of the plant. Plant expansions, relocations, technology updates and remediation are the main reasons for changing a network infrastructure. Rather than building the network from the ground up, the goal is usually strategic. To bridge the manufacturing and corporate networks, strengthen reliability and security or to adopt predictive maintenance practices that require remote monitoring of asset conditions.

Ethernet and Wireless
Open network protocols for industries, like ControlNet and Modbus have been losing popularity to Ethernet connections. Ethernet connections are much more stable and has better speed, bandwidth, flexibility and communication management than the earlier protocols. Assembly lines and warehouse picking lines are often some of the first areas to be connected by Ethernet. “Some areas of a network will remain on a ControlNet-like infrastructure, with its islands of information and slower data rates, when the equipment doesn’t allow for Ethernet connectivity or it’s cost-effective to change,” says Mara White, marketing manager at Fluke Networks.

Networks also usually remain wired where high speed or safety is critical, but other hardwired applications are being replaced by wireless alternatives using Ethernet bridges, WiFi or cellular networks. Process I/O used in alarming, alerting and condition monitoring is increasingly changing over to wireless.

Changing over from wired to wireless is a selective process. “As the installation cost to wire becomes prohibitive or the capacity to install additional fiber or cables is insufficient, wireless becomes a viable alternative for these functions,” explains Michael Martinez from Invensys Operations Management’s Critical Infrastructure and Security Practice. “Once a wireless infrastructure is in place, incremental wireless solutions often follow,” adds Hesh Kagan, director of technology innovation for Invensys. “For instance, real-time location systems are very inexpensive to add on and deliver a large return on investment.”

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6 thoughts on “Wireless Infrastructure Installation

  1. Hi Michael, interesting article you have here Reminds me of the days when I used to work as a Systems Integration Consultant for Structured Cabling which covered Wired and Wireless Solutions. This was more than fifteen years ago. All the best and love reading and learning from your articles.Vaya Con Dios!

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    1. Thank you very much for your kind words. Yes, it’s been a while, however, a potential client asked to see some specific content and I thought, what the heck, I’ll dust it off and see if anyone finds it interesting. I’m glad you found it interesting I appreciate you takig the time to check out my blog and join the conversation.

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      1. You’re most welcome Michael. By the way, I took the liberty of sharing one of your works on my site. Specifically “How Do Writers come up with Brilliant Ideas”. All the best and will take time out reading and enjoy your work. Vaya Con Dios and enjoy your week.

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      2. Thank you very much I really appreciate it. I’ve often said, and I mean it sincerely, I consider it the greatest honor when someone enjoys one of my works so much that they share it on their own site. People, like you and I, only want the best on their own sites, so when someone adds one of my articles to their own site that tells me I’ve done something right.

        Thank you again and what does “Vaya Con Dios” mean? I’ve heard it enough times I should know but unfortunately I’m afraid I don’t. My girls all took Spanish in school and are really pretty good but I never took any foreign language classes and now I wished I would’ve or at least learned my own Serbian from my grandmother.

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      3. Great to hear from you. Vaya Con Dios means May God be with you. Cheers and warmest regards to you and your family. Structured Cabling was a job I used to do in my younger years. I had to leave the industry when my close friend , buddy and project manager passed away due to chicken pox. He was only 44 years old, this was way back in 2005.Right now I rather would like to write and blog. I consider myself more a blogger than a writer. I feel I am not as articulate nor proficient like my mom and siblings who have carved their names in the literary profession in the Philippines.Looking forward to hearing from you.

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