What happens when you take networking cable out of the equation when developing a communications infrastructure for an industrial facility? Many of the obstacles hampering network expansion go away, and the potential for greater operational visibility increases. Just look at the rapid growth of wireless networks in factories and assembly plants worldwide. Riding a wave of advances in reliability, robustness, and flexibility, plant managers are increasingly turning to wireless networks to connect switches and sensors to a variety of controllers and machines. By eliminating the need to install, maintain, and troubleshoot cable, companies cut capital expenditures and accelerate their ROI. With these benefits in mind, users are seeking out and finding new and unique uses of the technology, propelling wireless into a broader range of applications and sectors.
The automation networks in automotive assembly plants have begun an evolutionary process that could change fundamental operating parameters, improve productivity, and enhance efficiency. Instead of relying on cables, plant managers and systems designers are increasingly using wireless technologies to connect robotic systems and assembly machinery.
Wireless sensor and switch networks are increasingly making inroads into the industrial sensor industry as more manufacturers and end-users explore wireless. The various technologies have matured and there is a growing market acceptance for their use in factories, warehouses, and other types of industrial facilities.