Industrial wireless: How to choose the correct solution and supplier

Industrial wireless networks provide well-documented benefits, including lower installation, operation and maintenance costs, greater network flexibility, greater reliability and greater technical safety. Even with these well-known benefits, some companies see a wireless installation as an important company and may hesitate before passing a transition.

With many new technologies, some decision-makers like to step on slightly. They may not be sure of the specific team that you will need, or if the provider understands your business and your request. And, the greatest concern is often continuous service. Plant managers want to know that a provider will be there to help solve any problem on the road.

Suppliers of industrial wireless solutions must address these concerns to facilitate facilities. An experienced provider will promote the general solution, including the service and experience of the provider, in addition to wireless products.

Because wireless applications must work in demanding environments, solid technical experience and comprehensive support will distinguish one solution from another. There are differences between products and suppliers. Therefore, industrial customers must know the right questions to make.

Does the solution meet the industrial requirements?

The most important part of the evaluation of a product is analyzing industrial qualities. Any wireless solution installed in an industrial configuration must be able to withstand the rigors of the environment.

For example, companies must determine the adequate energy and temperature ratings. They should also evaluate the flexibility of networks, interference capabilities and security measures. They should also look for industrial certifications. True industrial grade capabilities will be equivalent to cost savings in installation, operation and maintenance.

Determine product specifications

When selecting an industrial wireless solution, companies must ensure that frequency and energy levels are appropriate for the location of the installation. Although it is not usually a problem in North America, these levels may differ significantly in other parts of the world. Companies must know the standards and regulations of radio communications in each country in which they have operations.

Facilities in Europe, for example, will require some adjustments to frequency ranges and / or power levels. And, it is important to keep in mind that these standards can change from time to time.

Many radios in the market today do not comply with the regulations of local countries because they transmit too much energy or frequencies are not approved for their useless use. Therefore, it is important to determine if the wireless device can be programmed or not to comply with these regulations. A good solution may include programmable equipment that can be customized to meet the different requirements.

An adequate evaluation for an industrial wireless solution will include a deep understanding of all system components. Antennas, modems and other devices may vary a lot. Therefore, companies must understand all the technologies involved so that adequate decisions of compensation between costs and benefits.

In addition, industrial companies must work with their provider to determine all the characteristics of the project and the site. In other words, how far data will be transmitted and what physical obstacles could prevent wireless communication should be evaluated. The best industrial wireless solution will also be adapted to the specific requirements of the application. You must fit without problems within your surroundings, either in an oil and gas refinery, manufacturing plant or power generation plant.

Identify security problems

Safety is always a problem with any data network. The nature of communication in a wireless industrial network can increase the concerns of unauthorized external access. As a result, your critical wireless networks provide added safety features.

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