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Five factors to consider when implementing wireless in a factory

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article image Choosing between wired and wireless transmission demands careful consideration of various factors

The choice of a technology must take into account the application and its particular requirements.
Wireless communication is indeed more expensive to purchase and maintain, for example, when batteries have to be replaced.
In deciding between wired and wireless transmission, it is useful to consider the following five factors which have been drawn from the experiences of numerous users with wireless solutions:
1. Radio waves in the GHz range exhibit shortwave characteristics, meaning that they propagate quasi-optically, much like light waves. If there is no line of sight between the transmitting and the receiving antenna, radio reception will be less than optimal.

2. Data is transmitted via antennas by means of electromagnetic fields. In the GHz range, only the electrical field is effective. Buildings, pipes, or tanks may reflect this field, causing the signal strength to be amplified, attenuated, or even nullified.
3. It is important to select the right antenna and install it correctly in order to minimise interference and achieve higher signal transmission and reception gain. The antenna should be mounted as high as possible and in the line of sight of the receiving antenna. Doing this will reduce reflections.
4. Before making modifications or fixed installations, a trial operation is recommended in order to determine the radio signal field strength and the optimal antenna positioning.
5. The quality of the wireless connection is also influenced by the environment and may therefore vary. Modifications or new installations of facility equipment may thus have a negative impact on existing wireless links.
Practical experience shows that wireless communication should be avoided for applications in which wiring can be installed with reasonable expense and effort. Otherwise, wireless data transmission is a viable alternative.

By Phoenix Contact .

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