Industrial Processes & Wi-fi Communications – Half II: Manufacturing Logistics



The Web is plagued by articles about Business 4.0. Adoption of digital industrial processes have accelerated because the German authorities led this initiative to take care of nationwide industrial prowess. For instance, with digital twins and modular versatile methods. One of many foremost options of Business 4.0 is interoperability for cellular cyber-physical methods. Examples are, cellular robots, AGV(automated guided automobiles), and manufacturing infrastructure. For these processes to run over wi-fi infrastructure, the communications know-how should ship towards strict utility necessities for efficiency and reliability.

Such articles usually omit vital particulars, similar to what is definitely wanted from the community. I all the time ask the query: What are the totally different choices to serve these utility necessities? This weblog is the second in a sequence, bringing a lens on manufacturing logistics, dissecting the applying stream and just a little element on why the serving wi-fi medium should behave in a selected option to assist it.

We may also show you how to perceive the choices open to you for digitising processes over wi-fi as we focus on the second of our three use circumstances:

1) Cellular robots and AGV
2) Manufacturing logistics
3) Course of automation monitoring

Manufacturing Logistics

I not too long ago learnt that manufacturing provide chains are modeled utilizing algebraic solver methods and evaluated utilizing statistics. The fashions deal with maximising output, minimising waste, with optimum use of belongings. In the event you consider a provide chain as a system which may then be damaged down into smaller hyperlinks, every of which types a perform, e.g., transport from A-B, optimum use of warehousing, stock management, and product manufacturing lifecycle. Every of those domains contains a minimum of one hyperlink that may be optimised with wi-fi applied sciences.

This use-case consists of some type of inbound transportation, similar to a heavy items automobile, container ship or freight prepare, which delivers a pallet of products. This pallet is then routinely mapped into the manufacturing unit stock system, and presumably even opened, distributed, or saved utilizing automated processes. Some guide intervention could also be required, as initially these processes had been guide. There could also be the same course of for the outbound course, as ultimate product is picked or constructed, after which processed for packing and transport in the direction of clients.


The primary space to think about is monitoring of pallets when on the street, exterior to the ability. I usually see this finished utilizing a low-cost monitoring machine on every pallet. Public networks are sometimes the answer for this; nevertheless, the complexity comes when the pallet is handed off; how does the information trade arms, and which wi-fi know-how is for use inside and out of doors of the ability. As soon as pallets are damaged up to be used, then additional granular merchandise monitoring will be achieved by means of wi-fi applied sciences for scanning, positioning and identification, in addition to sometimes coordinated with digital camera knowledge from high-level surveillance and safety to high-precision high quality verify ranges.

Logistics Communication Flows

Subsequently, communication flows should exist in a number of locations for end-to-end industrial course of administration and automation success. Telemetry from pallets is fed over the general public networks after which fed into system preparedness metrics within the Manufacturing Execution System (MES). As soon as inbound, the telemetry could also be adopted additional on a non-public community, which in flip can be utilized to determine particular person merchandise. When this inbound materials or inventory is fed into the method, checks towards high quality and efficiency should be made at extraordinarily excessive charges, which requires a extremely dependable and jitter-free community. Data on the components could also be fed into the method to discard or reuse, there may additionally be some type of suggestions into the management system, similar to for splitting components for versatile manufacturing processes. These flows might move from controller to controller, and up and all the way down to the MES as required.

Subsequently, pallets must talk into a number of networks, probably elevating their communication system complexity additional with pre-emption,, route-selection, and presumably assurance as they stream by means of the supply-chain.


Availability: Hub-centricity; excessive availability contained in the hub, decrease when exterior

Determinism: None

Reliability: Hub-centricity; excessive reliability contained in the hub, decrease when exterior

Synchronicity: None

Visitors Varieties: Largely non-critical telemetry and high-definition video, other than vital telemetry from manufacturing logistics.

Drivers for know-how selections

Some use-cases will be solved in a number of methods, with totally different applied sciences. Secondly, know-how choice is normally not the one driver for the ultimate structure. Particularly in a brownfield surroundings, there could also be present applied sciences and processes in place which might be both adopting or driving the brand new implementation of wi-fi entry.

A few of these extra drivers could also be:

  • To make use of present investments in wi-fi options
  • Adhering to the technical technique of the plant management workforce
  • Optimising complete price of possession by fixing a number of use-cases with one know-how
  • Want for simplicity and standardisation
  • Engineering reticence to take away dependable wired methods
  • Monetary budgeting constraints
  • Accessible expertise and present technical debt
  • Interoperability between the economic automation answer and the choices for connecting methods wirelessly.

Every time a brand new structure is chosen or enhanced, a really cautious evaluation of all these elements and the perceived dangers in out there choices must be assessed. Enterprise circumstances ought to use empirical proof and detailed design issues the place potential.

Cisco Options

I’ve not written these blogs to offer you definitive solutions on which know-how is true on your use-case and methods to proceed. It’s best to make your individual educated opinion on that. That is due to the unknown variables and complexity concerned in each deployment situation. Issues should be made for tailor-made radio planning, brownfield methods, and specialist design to maximise the wi-fi efficiency and availability.

Cisco brings use-case options and reference architectures that allow particular enterprise outcomes for our clients. It vital to take a tailor-made strategy every time, to make sure all points of your context are accounted for. We’ll deal with your corporation necessities, bringing a toolbox of choices to fit your utility, together with: Indoorout of doors, and ruggedised WiFi, Extremely Dependable Wi-fi, Personal 5G, and LoRaWAN.

Join together with your Cisco account workforce to debate your industrial processes, and choices for wi-fi connectivity in your manufacturing operations.  The Cisco account workforce will then show you how to with a deep dive on your corporation necessities. We’ll show you how to perceive the choices open to you for digitising processes over wi-fi.

Lastly, over to you!

I’m intrigued to know when you’ve got thought-about or are already utilizing wi-fi communications on your robotic and AGV methods. I’d love to listen to your perspective and experiences.

For extra context on manufacturing use circumstances, go to our

to see options created for a wide range of producers throughout their digital transformations.





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