7 Tips to Optimize an Industrial Wireless Network

In the era of growing demand for products and services that further ‘ease of living’, it is only instinctive for industrialization to grow rapidly. With the growth in industrialization, the basics needed for production needs to be optimized too.

And let’s be honest – we all know that nothing can be made in today’s world in the absence of good internet. In fact, as per a recent survey, as many as 22.2 billion devices worldwide are going to be connected via WLAN by 2021!  

Strong internet service is the basic prerequisite for businesses, owing to obvious reasons – the primary being the need for a fluent communication. Wireless network ensures that communications take place efficiently and smoothly and so it is essential to optimize it. Here are 7 tips to help you learn how to optimize industrial wireless network:

1. Scientific data calculation

Connection needs to be strong in order to serve the various communication-based needs of different departments in the organization. If the connection disrupts, or even worse, gets disconnected – the entire industry and its activities suffer. Therefore, conducting a scientific data calculation becomes essential.

A wireless distance calculator is used to figure out the bandwidth requirement of a given area. It makes planning for networking easy and shows you the real capacity of your network.

2. Use 5-GHz channels

The problem with a 2.4 GHz is that it has just three non-overlapping channels. And we know the struggle of having few non-overlapping channels – they get saturated very easily. This may work for normal day-to-day usage, but wouldn’t survive industrial use.

Industries do not only have heavy usage, but they also need constant, strong channels at their disposal. Hence, it is always suggested to use 5 GHz channels in industries. And just a quick reminder, most countries require a DFS to operate legally in this frequency. So, make sure you read the laws of the country you are residing in before making a decision.

3. Use a wireless redundancy technology

Instability in a wireless network is common and can be caused by a lot of reasons. Mostly, it is the set-up-related issues like Hidden Nodes that makes the network unstable. On top of it, if by any chance, the deployment location does not happen to be under your control, then it may also cause a lot of network errors.

Hence, to fix this problem, use a wireless redundancy technology like RSTP or dual RF redundancy to ensure maximum connection uptime. Elpro is one of the very few industry leaders when it comes to providing excellent communication via industrial wireless radios.

4. AP coverage for mobiles

In an industrial network, not just computers and supercomputers but even mobile equipment need to be fully functional. But, we all know, wireless APs have limited coverage which means it is our mobiles that have to suffer from network issues. This problem with APs can be fixed by using site planning software or a wireless coverage heat map.

5. Use MIMO client antennas

The only issue associated with a 2.4 GHz or even a 5 GHz-based wireless communication is that both of these need an apparent LoS (Line of Sight) between the Access Point (AP) and its clients. How can you possibly fix this? Extent the client’s radio antenna installation to get the proper LoS between your AP and client. Also, using a MIMO technology is also an amazing option to combat the issue.

6. Wi-Fi Alliance

Like mentioned earlier, a lot of handheld devices like tablets and laptops are used in industries. Plus, they all communicate very well using the general 802.11 standards. And the devices that may conform to interoperability may carry the Wi-Fi logo, which is issued by Wi-Fi Alliance for optimized networking.

7. Protocol issues

The users of 802.11 know – some of its characteristics do not provide translucent communication between wired Ethernet and wireless links. Only a limited number of addresses are reserved for this job. However, this issue can be fixed with Moxa, which does this through its MAC clone technology.

Over to you…

Optimizing the wireless networks in an industry can be tricky. But it is one of the most important things to take care of in an industrial environment. Here, we cited the 7 tips to optimize industrial wireless networks. Read this article beforehand and optimize your industry’s wireless networks. 

Annika Bansal

Annika "The Chick Geek" is the founder of AnnikaBansal.com. Small Business Sense shares small business ideas, tips and resources for independent Entrepreneurs and Small Business owners.