There is a new feature available in the ESTeem Horizon series radios that will create two isolated industrial wireless networks to run side-by-side, that seamlessly flow across a common wireless infrastructure for secure and segmented networking.  This feature is available for free by simply updating the Horizon radios to the latest software version, but how does it work?

The easiest way to understand what this feature provides is to consider the two most common radio networks.  Figure 1 shows a very common use of the Horizon network where the high-speed Ethernet interface (up to 1Gbps) is providing a bridge link to a remote facility, miles distant through a repeater site.

business network
Figure 1

The Horizon series radios can operate as both a wireless Ethernet bridge and Access Point for mobile users to gain thin client access to the “business” network simultaneously.  These mobile clients may have internet access or access to the business unit’s key data infrastructure.  This network can support WiFi clients with the Horizon 2.4 GHz or Horizon 5.8 GHz or any ESTeem radio in client mode for the Horizon 900 MHz and Horizon 4.9 GHz.

A second common industrial wireless network (Figure 2) is a SCADA network supporting process or control systems.  This long range, high-speed network provides a redundant Mesh for remote locations such as pump stations and water tanks.  Operators and support personnel can access the wireless network for maintenance, on-line programming or system updates.

porcess/SCADA/control industrial wireless network
Figure 2

The ESTeem radios handle each of the above network configurations perfectly.  The challenge is that many customers have the need for both types of systems in a plant, but each must be mutually excusive without any “crosstalk”.  This is the perfect scenario for the ESTeem Dual Wi-Bridge configuration (Figure 3).

Dual industrial wireless network
Figure 3

The ESTeem Horizon radios allow each wireless network to operate at the same time, using the same or independent radio paths but a complete segregation of data is provided for each network. 

Each network will have an independent name (SSID), security settings and be physically segmented to one of the two Ethernet interfaces in the radio.  Both wireless networks can operate at the same time and mobile users can select which network to access by their log-in credentials.

This feature of the ESTeem Horizon radios can greatly reduce wireless network costs while providing the network segmentation between the “business” and “process” side of the plant.  For more details on the configuration of the Dual Wi-Bridge or to discuss your industrial wireless network needs with an ESTeem application engineer, please contact us at any of the following: