Network connection plays an essential role in the convergence of the cyber and physical worlds that Industry 4.0 and industrial internet of things (IIoT) advocate. As the question of "go wired or wireless" bothers users, wireless connection is preferred over wired LAN because it delivers the benefits of low cost and ease of deployment. Thus, NEXCOM identifies three elements to set up a trustworthy wireless network.
Manageability is the key to build a robust reliable wireless network. In the network all connected Wi-Fi devices and wireless sensors must be able to be managed and controlled by a management system. Such management system can automatically detect Wi-Fi access points (APs) and customer premises equipment (CPE), and enable remote setup and configuration of APs and CPEs. Also, the management system can monitor devices status, watch for alarming events, and bring the manager's attention to a developing situation.
NEXCOM edge server will parse the incoming data into small pieces, extract the pieces that matter to manufacturers, convert the pieces into pre-defined formats so that they can be recognized by receiving ends, and then send the pieces to private enterprise clouds, IBM Bluemix, or Axeda Machine Cloud Service.
Harsh environments and reliable data transmission are two major factors to be considered when building wireless networks in industrial settings. It is imperative for industrial Wi-Fi solutions to deliver industrial grade reliability and optimize routes for sending data. Leveraging the Mesh technology, NEXCOM Industrial Wi-Fi Mesh IWF series features self-forming and self-healing capabilities to provide a secure backbone network for flexible wireless network deployment and reliable data transmission. NEXCOM Industrial Wi-Fi Mesh IWF series is made up of EZ Mesh APs and Mobile Mesh APs.
The EZ Mesh APs supporting 4 hops provide a backbone network for trusted secure Wi-Fi connection. The EZ Mesh APs achieve a high data rate with the adoption of IEEE 802.11an MIMO technology. The EZ Mesh APs are an ideal fit for bandwidth-consuming data transmission applications in factories, large-scale treatment plants, and utility facilities.
Mobile Mesh APs feature short handover switch time which is an important consideration to allow for seamless Wi-Fi roaming on moving vehicles, including public transportation systems, automated guided vehicles (AGV), and mining trucks.
Cost-effective IWF 500 family offers a wide support of Wi-Fi standards including 2x2 MIMO 11n and 3x3 MIMO 11ac. Featuring industrial design, the IWF 500 series provides high reliability and high data rate, offering the best cost-performance options for cable replacement solutions required of the last-mile, point-to-point (PtP) and point-to-multipoint (PtMP) applications.
ISA100.11a and WirelessHART are receiving growing popularity, selected for industrial wireless sensor network protocols in factories, especially those involving automated process control. The ISA 100a and WirelessHART standards offer the benefit of cable replacement, and are ideal choices for wireless data communication applications. IWSN gateway solution includes:
Combining 802.11an Mesh and ISA100.11a/WirelessHART technologies, NIO 200 can construct a standalone/distributed ISA100.11a/WirelessHART network based on full Mesh topology. By interlacing bypass links, NIO 200 secures robust and reliable communication channels among field devices and backbone network for mission-critical industrial wireless applications. Moreover, NIO 200 is designed by CID2 and ATEX requirements to be used to at hazardous locations, helping such as oil and gas facilities and chemical plants collect data that is critical to safe plant operations.
NIO 50 is an industrial wireless serial/Ethernet gateway which can connect PLCs, meters, sensors, and other serial devices to a wireless LAN network. NIO 50 can perfectly interoperate with NEXCOM EZ Mesh APs, sharing Mesh links with each other. NIO 50 provides wireless connection for accessing serial devices, eliminating the hassle of cabling or wiring for the wide rollout of Industry 4.0 applications (see figure 1).
|Figure 1. Industrial wireless network diagram|