Cliffs Notes: Industrial Wireless Network Frequencies

September 8, 2016 at 8:00 AM

 

Today’s industrial wireless networks use multiple frequencies in order to support a variety of applications. In a single industrial setting there may be two, three or more frequencies being used since each offers unique capabilities.

 

If you’re trying to decide which frequency would be best for your industrial wireless application, we’re here to help. We’re going old school with a CliffsNotes-style review to sum it all up for you.

 

Summary

 

There are three ISM wireless frequency bands: 900 MHz, 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz. The most popular frequencies used in industrial networks are the 900 MHz and 2.4 GHz bands. Many industrial facilities have such diversified needs and processes that their wireless network uses multiple frequencies. For example, let’s say there’s an oil refinery using a remote monitoring system, a security system and high speed Wi-Fi in the central control office – this situation may require the use of all three frequency bands.

 

Facilities such as oil refineries, wastewater treatment plants and manufacturing operations may have wireless systems that utilize lower bandwidth communications. Simpler tasks like opening a valve or relaying temperature readings from a tank require less bandwidth. In this instance, the 900 MHz frequency band is often used because it allows for longer distance, more reliable transmissions and better penetration of obstructions. This frequency is ideal when remote monitoring of facilities requires a longer reach.

 

These facilities may also use video security systems which are very common in industrial installations. Most security systems use IP cameras which can be wired with cables or may be connected via wireless links. Wireless IP camera networks require higher bandwidth to send video and/or audio. In this case, 2.4 GHz Wi-Fi networks are the best bet. Using an 802.11g/n network provides security systems the speed they need with transmission rates of up to 300 Mbps.

 

5 GHz is not as commonly used as the 900 MHz and 2.4 GHz frequencies in industrial networks. It has the shortest range but offers very high bandwidth which can be overkill for many industrial communication applications.  Often 5 GHz systems are used as a backhaul link to connect two 2.4 GHz systems.

 

Study Guide

 

Here is a handy chart to give you an overview of the ISM band frequencies and how they are used in industrial wireless networks:

 

No matter which frequency best suits your needs, L-com has all of the products to build your industrial wireless network including antennas, amplifiers, splitters/filters and access points

 

For more information on industrial wireless networks, check out our blog post 5 Things You Need To Know About Industrial Wireless.

 

Comments on this post? Other topics you’d like us to cover? Email us at engineeringhub@l-com.com

 

5 Things You Need to Know About Industrial Wireless

February 25, 2016 at 8:00 AM

 

Wireless networks have gone beyond commercial applications and taken industrial communication to the next level. Today’s industrial wireless Ethernet networks offer reduced cost and increased return on investment (ROI), improved productivity, heightened security and have created a mobile workforce that is more nimble and effective.

 

To see the full impact, here are 5 things you need to know about wireless industrial Ethernet that is revolutionizing the way many industries do business.

 

1. Cost

Implementing a wireless network can cost 50% less than a wired installation. Material cost is reduced because you don’t need to buy cables and faster installation times and reduced labor costs add to the savings. Industry studies have proven that wireless networks continue to deliver significant savings over the lifetime of a project.

 

2. Standardization

First standardized in 1997, IEEE 802.11 wireless Ethernet is a proven technology with years of improvements and enhancements.  Ethernet is an open standard with development support from hundreds of device manufacturers.

 

3. Multivendor Support/Interoperability

There are many companies manufacturing wireless Ethernet equipment designed for industrial environments. Since there are so many “players” in this space, competitive pricing is abundant. Furthermore interoperability between different manufacturers’ products is almost guaranteed because all products are all built to the 802.11 standards.

 

4. Scalability

By adding a single wireless access point to your network you can typically support 50 to 100 users/devices, depending on data rates and the specific model of access point. Using 100 Mbps and Gigabit connections back to the wired network from connected access points provides plenty of bandwidth for industrial applications that generally use very little bandwidth.

 

5. Security

Keeping your information and assets secure is a major concern in industrial communication applications. Wireless Ethernet technology provides unrivaled security by supporting 802.1x authentication and Wi-Fi Protected Access 2 (WPA2) to keep connections protected. With an ultra-secure and ultra-reliable wireless network infrastructure, all types of plant safety, reliability and efficiency requirements are seamlessly supported.

 

With so many benefits it’s no surprise that wireless networks have taken the industrial world by storm. Whether you are designing an industrial network from scratch or adding wireless to your existing wired industrial network, the benefits are clear.

 

Industrial Wireless: AvaLAN to the Rescue

August 20, 2015 at 8:00 AM

 

Our customers often come to us with connectivity issues regarding long distance wireless communications where standard, commercial grade products won’t work. In many instances, these applications are in industrial or harsh settings such as waste water treatment facilities, oil and gas processing plants and other outdoor applications.

 

In order to meet our customers’ needs for secure, long-range, industrial wireless communications, L-com has partnered with AvaLAN Wireless to bring their wide-range of products directly to you.

 

AvaLAN is an industry frontrunner in the development and manufacture of long-range industrial wireless solutions and wireless communication products. These include OEM RF Modules, long-range industrial wireless radios, wireless spectrum analyzers and encrypted wireless Ethernet and data communications products for cellular and unlicensed 900 MHz, 2.4 GHz and 5.8 GHz radio bands.

 

AvaLAN’s products are affordably priced and provide connectivity in locations with limited accessibility. And their simple plug-and-play setup involves minimal user programming saving time and money. 

 

 

AvaLAN’s product portfolio serves many markets and applications including:

 

·       SCADA and Telemetry Links

·       Data Acquisition

·       Oil/Gas and Mining Industries

·       Water Treatment Plants

·       Video Surveillance

·       Federal Government

·       IoT (Internet of Things)

 

AvaLAN’s products offer an ideal combination of price, range, throughput, security, interference avoidance and quality.

 

By pairing AvaLAN’s radios with L-com’s wide breadth of connectivity products, we are able to provide a comprehensive industrial wireless solution to address your industrial wireless needs.

 

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