Factories worldwide are deploying automatic storage and retrieval systems (AS/RS) to increase production efficiency. The AS/RS are complex structures that span storage shelves in warehouses. Multiple shuttles in an AS/RS are constantly on the move to retrieve goods and deliver them to where they are needed. In this article, we highlight the critical features of reliable wireless solutions for automatic material handling systems (AMH) in factories, and how Moxa’s AWK-1137C wireless clients can help operators closely monitor and control the AS/RS in their facility, thereby increasing production efficiency.
Enabling Real-Time Monitoring and Control
In an AS/RS, continuous communication between the shuttles and the control center is essential to ensure that the right goods are delivered to their destinations without delay or holdup. In addition, the shuttles in the AS/RS must be able to easily move around without obstruction from wires or other equipment. To ensure smooth operations, operators in the control center require real-time data from these shuttles. This real-time data enables them to monitor and control all activities in a timely manner. Choosing the right wireless solution is a key factor in building uninterrupted wireless connectivity for the AS/RS. Operators need to factor in the following critical requirements when designing a wireless network for their AS/RS:
- Wireless devices that can fit inside the space constraints of shuttle systems
- Operational stability in continuously mobile environments
- Ability to function reliably in factories and cold storage areas that operate at extreme temperatures
- Wi-Fi technology that can provide seamless connectivity for such shuttle systems
A Wireless Solution That Brings It All Together
Shuttle systems in an AS/RS are constantly on the move to store goods from the production line, and then to retrieve them from shelves when these goods are ready for shipment. Monitoring the status of the shuttle systems in real time can help operators quickly identify problems and take corrective actions. This also helps operators find a solution when there is an emergency. To receive data in real time, a wireless client needs to be installed in each shuttle system to collect data from a PLC that controls the AS/RS. The data should then be transmitted to a control center to enhance process efficiency.
Moxa’s AWK-1137C wireless clients have a compact form factor that lends itself to installation inside shuttle systems, while our AWK-3131A wireless APs can be mounted on to fixed poles in the AS/RS to provide stable wireless connections to the client devices. The APs can receive data from the clients installed inside the moving shuttles, and can then transmit this data to the control center through Moxa’s EDS-205A Ethernet switches. AWK-1137C wireless clients have both DIN-rail and wall mounting options, making it easy to install them inside shuttles. Ethernet and serial interfaces also help simplify the installation process further. Moxa’s client-based Turbo Roaming technology helps achieve seamless connection to the mobile shuttle system during operation by providing millisecond-level handoff times between APs. Some factories and warehouses require low temperatures to keep food or beverages fresh before delivery. Our AWK Series wireless solutions support a wide range of operating temperatures that ensures uninterrupted operation even in subzero environments.
Moxa’s experience in providing wireless solutions for automatic material handling systems, coupled with Moxa’s sincere service can help factory operators achieve project success with the following benefits:
- Easy-to-install Wi-Fi device with a compact size that fits inside shuttles
- Ethernet and serial interfaces to connect end devices
- DIN-rail mounting and wall-mounting options provide flexibility during installation
- Millisecond-level Turbo Roaming technology for seamless operation of mobile equipment
- Dual isolation design for power and antenna provides uninterrupted wireless connectivity
- Vibration-proof design for reliable device connectivity, even when subjected to constant movement and vibration
- Operational stability even at temperatures as low as -40°C
- Ability to serve customers better, thereby increasing customer satisfaction
To learn more about how Moxa’s AWK-1137C wireless clients are the ideal solution for AMH systems in your factories, download the AWK-1137C application flyer.