Advice: Exploring best practices for industrial wireless
Reasons for updating and expanding industrial wireless use are increasing. Understand how use cases can inform a corporate industrial wireless strategy.
- Industrial wireless technologies are advancing quickly. Are your applications?
- Industrial wireless use cases help inform industrial wireless implementation strategies.
- Advice about industrial wireless technologies and installations help with implementation.
What mix is best mix for industrial wireless applications to support current and future needs, with 5G and 4G versions, 3G and 2G cellular wireless phase outs, IEEE 802.11 Wi-Fi, IEEE 802.15 Bluetooth, proprietary wireless networks, wireless devices and sensor networks, and standards? Do you know what’s being used? What are your policies, procedures, and cybersecurity measures?
While a July 8, 2021 webcast from Control Engineering, “Exploring industrial wireless best practices,” has more information (and will be archived for a year), webcast presenters Laurie Cavanaugh, business development manager, E Technologies, and Dean Fransen, Applied Intelligence, Wood, offer advice below.
Bottom-up drivers of industrial wireless, Cavanaugh said, include mobile applications, safety and efficiency, including monitoring personnel and assets in confined spaces, augmented reality and on-the-job training, dashboards in the hands of who needs them and when, rather than on a wall, and gamification, the trend of using video game technologies in interfaces that users expect to see.
Industrial wireless technologies, on the move
Industrial wireless technologies include:
- IEEE 802.11 describes Wi-Fi, which includes IEEE 802.11a, b, g, n, ac, ax, standards that can support a large footprint with broad coverage over multi-hop multiple access points.
- Cellular: 2G, 3G, 4G and 5G includes legacy and emerging technologies. Check with wireless carriers for specific shut-down dates of 2G and 3G services, ranging from 2016 to end of 2021. 5G technologies and applications are emerging that will allow large-scale real-time communications with complex machines and processes, with low-latency communications and enhanced mobile broadband capabilities.
- IEEE 802.15 describes Bluetooth and works in smaller footprints, with a lower frequency, and has hybrid Wi-Fi applications.
- Zigbee often is applied for wireless mesh applications, can work up to 1 mile line of sight outdoors and enables many Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) applications.
Industrial wireless use cases, strategies
The webcast discusses use cases and lessons learned for these technologies and how wireless can integrate with other industrial applications. Cavanaugh and Fransen also discuss wireless as a corporate strategy.
Fransen suggests, when working on a corporate industrial wireless strategy, to select a diverse team; understand problems to be solved; perform risk assessments in design, development and deployment; identify short and long-term cybersecurity needs; and select partners and technologies with successful deployments to help throughout the industrial wireless lifecycle.
A question-and-answer session follows the presentation. An audience poll on an industrial wireless topic is scheduled.
Mark T. Hoske is content manager, Control Engineering, CFE Media and Technology, email@example.com, and moderator of this webcast.
Industrial wireless technologies, industrial wireless use cases
Industrial wireless technologies are advancing quickly. Are your applications?
Industrial wireless use cases help inform industrial wireless implementation strategies.
Advice about industrial wireless technologies and installations help with implementation.
Implementing industrial wireless isn’t a hands-off strategy.