If you’re looking for an industrial wireless network, you’ve probably already identified the mobility, distance or accessibility challenges your operation faces that demand a wireless solution.
You may even feel you’ve identified the right industrial radios for your application, and you may have even found a provider willing to give you exactly what you’ve asked for.
… Which is where problems can begin to arise. Demanding a specific radio or network design can be the same thing as telling a doctor to remove your appendix because you have a stomach ache, and the doctor doing exactly what you’ve asked for – regardless of whether it will stop your stomach ache.
A reputable provider, on the other hand, will ask you these three seemingly simple questions to ensure you get the best industrial wireless network for your operation:
- What distance do you need to cover?
- What do you need to interface with?
- What environment will the radios operate in?
The answers to those three questions will provide all the information necessary to design an industrial wireless network that meets your needs.
The distance and line of sight (LOS) between antennas has a direct bearing on the best frequency to use. Generally, greater distances require higher output power or high-gain antennas. This answer also informs decisions regarding antennas and the height your radios should be mounted.
The interface provides information on your communication goals – are you simply monitoring conditions? Or are you also displaying video, controlling certain actions or providing emergency communications? Each function can require a different type of radio.
For instance, public service applications, like fire, ambulance and police communications, often rely on incredibly fast response times, which demands a specific kind of industrial radio.
The environment – outdoor vs. indoor, noisy vs. quiet, dry vs. humid – dictates the type of hardware needed to create your industrial wireless network. Oceanside applications, for instance, require clear-coated components to prevent rust.
The answers to these three questions – distance, interface and environment – allow your industrial wireless network provider to answer an even wider range of complex questions, like:
- What frequency and licensing are required?
- What kind of antennas are needed and what is their best placement?
- What power is needed?
- What data throughput or bandwidth is required?
- Is spread spectrum or frequency hopping necessary or advantageous?
- What signal-to-noise ratio is acceptable for the terrain and application to produce reliable, trouble-free communication?
- Will point-to-point or point-to-multipoint network topologies work best for your application?
Taken together, all these answers will allow a reputable provider to create the best industrial wireless network for your operation.
If you’re ready to get the right answers to your industrial wireless questions, you’re ready to work with ESTeem. Contact us today to learn how our wireless expertise can benefit you.