Wi-fi applied sciences have advanced considerably over time. Wi-fi options was restricted to sensing less-than-critical functions and connecting person gadgets. These days, wi-fi applied sciences are capable of assist bandwidth-intensive employee productiveness functions, dependable mobility for vital belongings, elevated knowledge assortment from all areas of the plant, and functions that increase operational efficiencies and manufacturing uptime.
Wi-fi is discovering makes use of in each industrial setting. For instance, autonomous guided automobiles (AGVs) and autonomous cellular robots (AMRs) on manufacturing flooring, remote-controlled cranes in delivery terminals, trains shifting at 200 mph, and autonomous automobiles in mines and oil and gasoline websites, to call only a few.
In case you want excessive knowledge charges, the principle candidates for wi-fi are Wi-Fi 6 and 6E, public and non-public 5G, and Cisco Extremely-Dependable Wi-fi Backhaul. However which expertise is finest? The very best wi-fi expertise will depend on your use case and is set by issues similar to the quantity of knowledge, the variety of gadgets, the realm of protection, the criticality of community availability, and whether or not the info might be used for real-time selections. (Somewhat lag is appropriate in the event you’re capturing manufacturing knowledge to check tendencies—however not in the event you’re remotely unloading a 50,000-pound container or steering a tele-remote mining car round a bend.)
On this weblog, we are going to evaluation the advantages of every of those three wi-fi applied sciences. For extra particulars, try our new white paper Select Wi-fi That Is Greatest-Match and Not Power-Match for Your Industrial Community.
Wi-Fi 6 and 6E—default wi-fi for many industrial IP gadgets
The newest requirements, Wi-Fi 6 and 6E (IEEE 802.11ax), ship extra throughput than earlier requirements, and decrease latency. Wi-Fi 6 additionally works with tools utilizing older Wi-Fi requirements. Wi-Fi 6 is a wonderful alternative for connecting gadgets by way of their default Wi-Fi interface, particularly in small areas or manufacturing traces. It may be troublesome to supply good Wi-Fi 6 radio planning for protection over giant areas. Most transmit energy is regulated, and dense supplies like delivery containers or metallic partitions can intervene with indicators.
Public 5G—enhanced cellular broadband
Like Wi-Fi 6, 5G guarantees excessive knowledge speeds and low latency. The improved Cell Broadband (eMBB) 5G service is akin to wireline networks, with knowledge charges as much as 20 gigabits/second (in mmWave frequency bands). Like LTE, public 5G depends on the brand new C-band spectrum to extend throughput in Sub-6GHz bands. Public 5G is now accessible in lots of nations, a bonus for multinational organizations that wish to standardize on one wi-fi expertise. Contemplate it in the event you’re seeking to centrally monitor and management distant SCADA websites, HD cameras, or new operational expertise (OT) instruments like augmented-reality helmets. The disadvantage is that 5G-enabled gadgets and C-band providers aren’t extensively accessible.
Personal 5G—non-public spectrum
Contemplate non-public 5G in the event you function in nations the place the C-band spectrum is out there for personal organizations. It’s a good selection for connecting cellphones, tablets, and IoT gateways which have a built-in 5G interface. In comparison with Wi-Fi, it has greater transmit energy and is much less prone to interference for the reason that band is devoted to personal 5G. That’s a successful mixture for giant areas like plane factories, ports, and terminals. You possibly can both handle a personal 5G community by your self or use a managed service. However remember that individuals with the networking, cybersecurity, and automation expertise to deploy and handle 5G networks are in brief provide. One other disadvantage of personal 5G is that few of immediately’s gadgets assist 5G standalone entry (SA). Most assist non-standalone entry (NSA), which makes use of the 4G LTE management airplane.
Cisco Extremely-Dependable Wi-fi Backhaul: fiber-like throughput and seamless handoffs
Cisco Extremely-Dependable Wi-fi Backhaul delivers fiber-like efficiency and might be deployed in a short time. This selection shines in the event you want 700 Mbps or greater knowledge charges, are connecting shifting belongings, linking areas which might be a number of miles aside, or want momentary connectivity the place it isn’t sensible to tug fiber. Extremely-Dependable Wi-fi Backhaul makes use of unlicensed (free) spectrum and is out there all over the place. As a result of the underlying expertise is Wi-Fi, you’ve full management over your community. Remember the fact that Cisco Extremely-Dependable Wi-fi Backhaul is the infrastructure, not an entry mechanism. Meaning you should use it to attach any industrial gadget with an Ethernet or Wi-Fi interface. Watch this quick video to be taught the place this expertise is getting used.
Matching wi-fi applied sciences to your use case
Listed below are some pattern pairings of commercial IoT use instances and wi-fi community applied sciences.
Manufacturing. Producers have very distinct connectivity necessities for warehouses, manufacturing traces, AGVs and AMRs, and management loop processes. Reliability is the highest criterion—a community glitch that pauses operations might be pricey. Which of the three wi-fi applied sciences is finest will depend on your location, bandwidth and latency necessities, cybersecurity wants, the diploma to which you wish to automate administration, and your funds for gadgets and community infrastructure. To regulate equipment or cellular tools over the community, select Extremely-Dependable Wi-fi Backhaul. With 99.99% availability and seamless handoffs, it avoids wi-fi hiccups that might cease manufacturing or result in wasted materials. In case you’re connecting stationery gadgets and staff’ cellular gadgets, Wi-Fi 6 or 5G are good choices.
Related rail. On subways and trains, the onboard community gives passenger Wi-Fi and connects safety cameras, digital signage, fee techniques, and train-to-ground radios. The trackside wants connectivity for sensors that monitor observe standing, signaling, degree crossings, axle counters, and extra. Each 5G and Extremely-Dependable Wi-fi Backhaul are good candidates for linked rail. Which is finest will depend on the protection space, bandwidth necessities, and value constraints.
Ports and Terminals. Ports are utilizing industrial wi-fi networks to load and unload containers quicker and enhance employee security and operations. Standard functions embrace terminal automation, automated container motion utilizing Optical Character Recognition (OCR), and autonomous automobiles. To attach staff’ telephones and tablets in frequent areas, Wi-Fi and mobile might be good decisions. For protection throughout your entire space, with seamless handoff as automobiles transfer from one protection zone to a different, use Extremely-Dependable Wi-fi Backhaul. Malta Freeport makes use of Extremely-Dependable Wi-fi Backhaul to attach its terminal working system (TOS) to 250 quayside cranes and rubber-tired gantries shifting as much as 25 miles per hour. The TOS sends the subsequent job order to crane operators wherever they’re, eliminating unproductive time spent driving again to the operations middle for orders.
Related automobiles. Normal Motors makes use of Cisco Extremely-Dependable Wi-fi Backhaul for vehicle-to-trackside connectivity. GM engineers seize knowledge from car sensors throughout efficiency testing in actual time and modify the car on the observe. This shortens testing cycles and shortens time to market. If you’re connecting automobiles in a single location—assume Indy automobiles or automobiles utilized in open mining—you don’t want something aside from Extremely-Dependable Wi-fi Backhaul. If you’re connecting automobiles over a regional or countrywide-area—e.g., passenger autonomous automobiles—discover 5G V2X growth.
With all these nice decisions, you would possibly end up utilizing not one, however two and even all three of those applied sciences in your operations. The excellent news is that Cisco gives tools, safety, and automatic administration instruments for all of those, serving to you match wi-fi easily into your end-to-end IP community. Try our options for industrial Wi-Fi, non-public 5G, and Extremely-Dependable Wi-fi Backhaul.
For extra industrial wi-fi use instances and a deeper dive into wi-fi applied sciences, learn our new white paper, Select Wi-fi That Is Greatest-Match and Not Power-Match for Your Industrial Community.
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