How to Get Wireless Up and Running

While Each Application Has Its Own Quirks and Requirements, There Are Still Some Primary Procedures for Implementing Wireless in Any Process or Plant

By Jim Montague

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While each application has its own quirks and requirements, there are still some primary procedures for implementing wireless in any process or plant:
  • Investigate and inventory your process application's basic operational and performance needs and use them to guide you toward the right wireless solution.
  • Evaluate your existing wired and any wireless networks together and upgrade your overall communication integration plan. Combine with functional needs above to help choose appropriate wireless equipment.
  • Complete a thorough wireless site survey and radio frequency (RF) assessment to determine the application and plant's physical setting and possible interference sources, such as buildings, steel walls, geographic features, distance issues, etc.
  • Test and select best-suited antennas and placement for most stable coverage and optimal signal transmission and reception.
  • Begin to implement wireless in smaller, non-critical pilot projects to check on unique site characteristics and issues. Make sure wireless devices can be adjusted and moved as application's needs change.
  • Install and roll out wireless components and network to meet application's present requirements, but allow for future data expansion and equipment scale-up.
  • Instruct field staff in installation, maintenance and troubleshooting skills required to gain the most operational advantages from your new wireless system.
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