Everyone seems to have a “smart” device these days. And companies have been busy coming up with new ways to take advantage of the resulting networked information. In the factory setting, the trend of connecting more and more devices to the network is called the Industrial Internet of Things, or the IIoT.

We’ve always had networks in factories, but the IIoT takes it a step further. When smart devices communicate with each other it can lead to enhanced functionality, improved operational efficiency and added value – all without any human interaction.

Another benefit is the availability of real-time information about processes and statuses. Not to mention the fact that control and information can be moved at will and managed from remote locations.

Many companies want to take advantage of the IIoT, but face a dilemma when it comes to wireless connections. They want the payback, data and efficiencies that wireless can deliver. However, they are skeptical because of a past bad experience or an outdated frame of reference.

The fact is industrial wireless technology has made great strides in terms of performance, reliability and security. The potential benefits, especially when it comes to network efficiency and agility, are huge.

Use Industrial Wireless for Remote Data

Today’s industrial wireless applications, such as wireless data collection and remote monitoring of equipment, can provide an immediate payback. Plus, they contribute to the infrastructure needed to realize the benefits of the IIoT.

Save Costs and Improve Productivity with Industrial Wireless Applications

If you are interested in investing in IIoT technology, implementing wireless solutions will play an important role. Here are a few wireless applications that might benefit your operation:

  • Wireless data collection: Think about the places where data is currently collected manually, like energy monitoring systems, condition monitoring information or any remote device. Wireless data collection could be a more efficient option.
  • Remote video monitoring: A live video feed can help monitor remote areas and hard-to-reach equipment. A live video feed can also allow you to monitor hazardous areas, which will help make your workplace safer.
  • Mobile workforce: Wireless can make workers more productive, thanks to remote management and the control of all systems and processes. Essentially, you take the control room with you, whether it’s a worker walking a manufacturing floor with a tablet device or a network manager checking the status of an unmanned system at a different location.
  • Backing-up wired connections: Wireless technology can provide redundancy for wired systems and help ensure a network stays up and running (with zero failover) despite potential failures, for instance due to a broken cable.
  • Networking “old equipment”: Implement wireless to get instant status updates on equipment and assets not networked before.

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Implementing Industrial Wireless: Factors to Consider

Wireless networks are a great idea if you want to network to places you’ve never networked before, or collect data from new or isolated locations. But not every company is the same or has the same needs, so there are a few factors to keep in mind when it comes to wireless network design.

It’s important to consider the amount of data being transferred, as well as the level of security that is required. You also need to think about how many nodes or devices should be connected.

To learn more about these factors and the technologies for addressing them, see the two learning tools available at the end of this article.

Don’t let fear or misinformation keep you from taking advantage of wireless technology. Today’s wireless solutions can be deployed in a simple, reliable and secure way. Plus, they make a valuable contribution to the industrial Ethernet infrastructure you need to realize the benefits of the IIoT.

Related Links

Industrial Wireless

Belden Products for Industrial Wireless