How Does Industrial Wireless Communication Work?

CoreTigo

| 15 April, 2024
How Does Industrial Wireless Communication Work?
The rise of industrial wireless communication is more than a mere technological iteration. It is a radical reimagining of the factory landscape. For the factory owner and manufacturer, this is an evolutionary call. CoreTigo is at the forefront of providing reliable wireless communication solutions tailored to the Industrial Internet of Things .

Wireless communications are taking over the majority of wired connections in many industries. The manufacturing industry isn’t an exception. The digital evolution brings multiple industrial wireless communications options that don’t just ensure seamless data transfer but also streamline the production process.

Without physical connectivity, factory operations go to the next level. To understand how it can transform your work process, you need to dive deeper into wireless industrial communications. Let’s take a closer look at the way they work. 

What Is Industrial Wireless Communication?

Industrial wireless communication refers to the ability of industrial operating systems to transmit data without wired connections. 

This technology harnesses various industrial wireless communication protocols, such as OPC UA, Ethernet/IP, PROFINET, and EtherCAT, to enable real-time monitoring, automation, and remote operation.

By eliminating the limitations posed by traditional wired networks, industrial wireless communication enhances operational flexibility and reduces installation and maintenance costs. 

It is pivotal in modern industrial applications, including manufacturing, logistics, and critical infrastructure management, driving advancements in the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT).

How Wireless Communication Works in an Industrial Setting

The technology that was once confined to consumer electronics and office buildings has now found its way into the heart of manufacturing. Today, strategies like Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) and IO-Link Wireless navigate the complexities of industrial settings, allowing for device-to-device connectivity that can hold up under extreme conditions.

IO-Link Wireless, for instance, is a significant advancement that merges the flexibility of wireless communication with the robustness demanded in the industrial realm. It empowers sensors and actuators to communicate with the control system wirelessly. Essentially, it enables a much more agile and decentralized system layout.

The core of industrial wireless communication is reliability and latency. These are the primary concerns when the technology needs to support critical systems. Industrial communication protocols for wireless connectivity have made tremendous strides in reducing latency and improving reliability. They have become applicable to a wider range of industrial use cases.

Why Are Industrial Wireless Communications Replacing Wired Connections?

Many significant reasons are behind the gradual but definitive shift toward industrial wireless communication. First and foremost is the economic argument. Wired connections, particularly in large industrial complexes, come with substantial installation and maintenance costs. Wireless systems are a cost-effective alternative, especially as the price of wireless technology continues to decrease.

Flexibility is another compelling factor. In a dynamic manufacturing environment, where the positioning of machines can often change, rewiring systems can be both costly and time-consuming. Wireless communication allows for a swift reconfiguration that preserves both time and resources.

The reduction in system complexity and downtime is also conducive to the adoption of wireless technologies. When there are no wires to encumber the system, maintenance, and troubleshooting occur with greater efficiency.

Wireless systems are inherently adaptable to novel technologies and smarter industrial environments, which is a crucial advantage in an era characterized by rapid technological evolution.

Challenges of the Industrial Wireless Communication Industry

Despite the evident advantages, the adoption of industrial wireless communication isn’t without its challenges. One of them is interference from other wireless systems operating within the same frequency range. Industrial settings are often densely populated with electronic devices, many of which now utilize wireless signals. Managing this confluence of signals to maintain the integrity of the communication infrastructure is a complex but critical task.

However, IO-Link Wireless is designed to coexist with other wireless networks and interferers through mechanisms such as blocklisting and adaptive frequency hopping. Blocklisting is a mechanism designed to avoid potential air collisions with other wireless systems such as Wi-Fi. 

Meanwhile, frequency hopping is used to ensure adequate performance for IO-Link Wireless system components and to reduce the impact of interferences. It alternates frequency channels for each transmission as a measure against interference, resulting in a PER of 1e-9 which is on par with wired connections.

Taking Advantage of Industrial Wireless Communications with CoreTigo

The rise of industrial wireless communication is more than a mere technological iteration. It is a radical reimagining of the factory landscape. For the factory owner and manufacturer, this is an evolutionary call.

CoreTigo is at the forefront of providing reliable wireless communication solutions tailored to the Industrial Internet of Things. This technology is based on the IO-Link Wireless standard and addresses many of the mentioned challenges. It offers a high-performance alternative to traditional wired connections.