Intelligent CIO Europe Issue 57 - Page 78

t cht lk

t cht lk

A network that can provide a more extended range than typical indoor Wi-Fi access points will allow operators to support more applications .
coverage to support automation . This can include obstructions that typically hinder connectivity , such as racks of metal shelving and equipment , as well as hallways that create corridors blocking wireless communications . Metal racks , for example , can cause multi-path reflections , and with a constant fluctuation of product storage , this can be notoriously unpredictable . The metal shelving blockages can disrupt the Wi- Fi signal to mobile equipment and impact its ability to roam in and out of cell areas seamlessly . In an industrial environment , dense infrastructure and RF obstructions are ever-present . Further , there are variable operating temperatures and conditions , large volumes of operational data and fleets of moving assets and people .
Warehouses require real-time data access and cannot afford any network downtime , data loss , or lag . But typical enterprise Wi-Fi is designed and built for fixed and predictable office settings . Operators may deploy one method to combat this is by adding extensive and costly access points on fixed infrastructure to bring reliable and mobile coverage . But coverage gaps can remain . Maintaining unfailing and continuous connectivity with autonomous systems and automated assets constantly in motion can be very difficult using this method as RF signals cannot overcome the obstacles mentioned .
Machine-to-Machine ( M2M ) wireless systems can ensure that warehouse operations run at optimum efficiency . They enable improved safety and accuracy and allow operators to meet fulfilment demands . But these wireless systems can face connectivity issues that prevent them from reaching their peak efficiency level as they rely on line of sight with fixed infrastructure . M2M communications run through Wi-Fi on fixed infrastructure and involve a Wi-Fi signal being sent from a single location . With machines traversing the warehouse floor , this signal can be interfered with affecting both coverage and signal strength . In turn , the machines dependent on M2M communication can seize to operate or be unable to send data to other devices .
High efficiency to meet warehouse demand
Automation of dangerous , complex , or repetitive processes improves safety and quality throughout the fulfilment process . As operators seek to meet rising fulfilment demand and workflows , continuous mobile connectivity helps systems run at optimal capacity . If automated systems experience any downtime or a drop in coverage , it can have a detrimental effect on productivity and speed of operations . Remotely guided machinery demands unfailing wireless communications .
A solution that can connect warehouse assets and autonomous systems using minimal infrastructure is paramount everywhere they roam . Being able to link
78 INTELLIGENTCIO EUROPE www . intelligentcio . com