Industrial Wireless

Ensuring the uptime of your wireless network

October 2023 Industrial Wireless

Automated material handling (AMH) systems are expected to keep booming in the coming years, thanks to developing trends in e-commerce and smart factories. Among the AMH market segments, autonomous mobile robots (AMR) have the highest potential for growth (CAGR 43%) followed by automated guided vehicles (AGV) (CAGR 24%), in the five year period from 2022 to 2027.

AGV and AMR systems are considered to be mission-critical assets. An unstable wireless signal could easily disrupt the operation of these systems. To ensure continuous operation, a reliable wireless solution, with seamless Wi-Fi connectivity and easy network management, is an absolute must.

Key challenges for wireless networks

Unlike wired connections, wireless connections are invisible and affected by a lot of different factors, making it difficult to spot abnormalities. Usually, an anomaly would only be discovered when the AGV or AMR system operations have already been affected. In addition, it is often hard to find and solve the root cause of wireless connection issues, causing unnecessary downtime. All these factors combined make troubleshooting and managing wireless connections very difficult.

Unreliable connectivity

AGVs and AMR shuttles are constantly on the move in a warehouse. The client devices that are mounted on mobile AGVs should be able to roam seamlessly between access points (APs) without downtime, and should support industrial protocol communication over wireless to enable interaction between the connected PLCs and the remote controller. In addition, Wi-Fi configurations are complicated, time-consuming, and prone to errors.

Limited space and interference

Designing AMR and AGV systems typically involves working with limited installation space. This means that the motors that drive the vehicles and shuttles often share the same power source as the communication devices. Hence, wireless devices mounted on AGV or AMR structures must tolerate interference from neighbouring equipment. They should also be able to withstand the vibration from the constant movement of the vehicles that they are mounted on.

The AWK-3252A Series 3-in-1 industrial wireless AP/bridge/client is designed to meet the growing need for faster data transmission speeds through IEEE 802.11ac technology for aggregated data rates of up to 1,267 Gbps. The AWK-3252A is compliant with industrial standards and approvals covering operating temperature, power input voltage, surge, ESD and vibration. The two redundant DC power inputs increase the reliability of the power supply, and the AWK-3252A can be powered via PoE to facilitate flexible deployment. The AWK-3252A can operate concurrently on both the 2,4 and 5 GHz bands and is backwards-compatible with existing 802.11a/b/g/n deployments to future-proof your wireless investments.

The AWK-3252A Series is compliant with the IEC 62443-4-2 and IEC 62443-4-1 Industrial Cybersecurity certifications, which cover both product security and secure development lifecycle requirements, helping RJ Connect’s customers meet the compliance requirements of secure industrial network design.

Why Moxa

• Compact Wi-Fi client fits inside space-constraint shuttles/AGV.

• 150 millisecond roaming time between APs for seamless operation of moving objects.

• 9 to 30 V DC wide power input design of compact Wi-Fi client to ensure stable voltage supply from onboard batteries.

• 500 V RF and power isolation protects Wi-Fi client against electrical interference, without additional accessories.

• Smart switch with multiple industrial protocols gives engineers the advantage of being able to easily integrate their AMH system with an existing scada system

• Low power consumption RISC computing platform in a name card size with wide temperature and wireless capability.

• Three second fast boot operating system combined with onboard voltage and CPU sensors to maintain high availability of the system.

• Moxa AP Wi-Fi certified logo secures interoperability with third-party wireless devices.


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