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Smart Wireless Sends Warehouses Into Smart Territory

Location / Country : Japan

Product Solutions:
AWK-1131A Series

Entry-level industrial IEEE 802.11a/b/g/n wireless AP/client

AWK-3131A Series

Industrial IEEE 802.11a/b/g/n wireless AP/bridge/client

Project Introduction

Many Automated Materials Handling (AMH) systems have been implemented in factories to increase productivity. AGV is a common AMH system used in factory logistics to enhance operational accuracy and efficiency. One of our customers in Asia, who provides logistics services, wanted to deploy AGV systems in warehouses. Their aim was to provide real-time goods delivery so that their customers could achieve zero inventories in retail stores.

These AGV systems rely on wireless networks tocommunicate with a control center. Any single point of device failure interrupts wireless connections, which leads to goods delivery delays and increased operation costs. To take advantage of AGV systems, the wireless device must be reliable and rugged enough to provide seamless wireless communication while AGVs are on the move.

    Customer Needs

    • Fast roaming time under 200 milliseconds
    • The ability to configure roaming sensitivity to adapt the same solution in differentsized factories
    • Industrial-grade design to withstand harsh environments 

System Requirements

• Seamless roaming ability is a must to ensure wireless connections between different access points (APs)  when AGV systems move around inside warehouses 
• The ability to allow users to adjust the roaming parameter to adapt to the requirements of different deployment venues
• Isolation design to protect wireless devices from inrush current interference generated by motors on AGV systems
• Anti-vibration design to ensure continuous wireless device operation under constant moving conditions

Moxa Solution

Reliable wireless networks are required to enable AGV systems in warehouses. Different requirements from APs and clients (devices) determine the formation of a reliable wireless network. In this case, AWK-3131A wireless devices have been used as APs to provide Wi-Fi coverage. The AWK-3131A supports 802.11n with 2x2 MIMO antenna output, allowing a wider coverage of Wi-Fi communication. Furthermore, it provides sufficient bandwidth with a 300 Mbps data rate, keeping your options wide open for possible future system expansions. With 5 GHz channel support, AGV systems can operate in a cleaner environment than under the over-saturated 2.4 GHz frequency. As the ideal wireless client in an AGV system, the AWK-1131A wireless device offers three benefits: compactness, ruggedness, and mobility.

The space-limited vehicled system needs compact wireless devices to fit into AGV systems, which makes our small-sized AWK-1131A the perfect solution. The rugged design of the AWK-1131A can endure harsh onboard conditions. The device isolates both power and antenna ports to prevent unexpected electrical interference. For example, when a wireless device shares the same power source with motors, wireless communication can easily be interrupted due to inrush current generated by the motors. With 500-volt insulation on power ports and level-4 ESD on antenna ports, a wireless device can isolate any unwanted electrical charges.

More importantly, optimized device mobility is the major concern for AGV systems. The AWK-1131A supports client-based Turbo Roaming technology that provides 150 ms handoff times between APs to enable seamless mobile operations for warehouses.

Why Moxa

• Millisecond-level handoff times offered by Turbo Roaming technology ensure seamless AGV system operation on the move
• A configurable roaming threshold to ensure reliable roaming performance in differentsized venues
• With 500-volt insulation on power ports and level-4 ESD on antenna ports, can withstand electrical interference on AGV systems—for a worry-free integration
• Up to 300 Mbps throughput rate and MIMO technology to maximize Wi-Fi coverage for AGV systems—for cost-saving and future-proof technology
• Anti-vibration design meets the IEC 60068-2-6 standard, protecting wireless communications under constant motion