Published by Markus Rentschler from Balluff GmBH, Senior Member IEEE

Factory automation applications operating on wireless communication systems may exceed the coverage area of a single base station, requiring the capability of device movement between multiple base stations. Roaming is a feature that allows such wireless device mobility between base station cells, but cyclic process data communication between PLC on the one side and the roaming wireless device on the other side gets usually interrupted during the handover process, not allowing real-time operation during this handover phase. It is shown that this is not an obstacle in factory automation applications when the handover process is kept under supervision of the PLC control program. This roaming concept is adopted with PNO’s new “IO-Link wireless” standard.

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