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Wireless protocols to consider for your next Industrial Internet of Things application. Article by Stephan Kopka, Industrial IoT Product Marketing, Advantech.

The debate about the usefulness of Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) is over. A well-designed IIoT system can pay for itself many times over within the lifetime of the installation by providing equipment efficiency/usage, pre-emptive maintenance, monitoring and production supervision. As the demand for data and analytics grows, manufacturers and users must face up to the realization that IIoT is happening today and should be ready to address the challenge.

Why Wireless Industrial IoT

How do you retrofit an IIoT infrastructure onto existing equipment, which may be multi-vendor?  Or account for mid-life upgrades and new data demands?  Wireless sensing systems are the solution to these challenges – they can be simply installed onto existing equipment and are vendor neutral. They also allow a quick and painless upgrade path for existing smart equipment without the need to replace expensive PLC’s/controllers.

Which Wireless Protocol Is Best In Class

There is no single wireless technology covering all application scenarios. Every IIoT application has a distinct set of constraints in terms of its requirements for wireless range, energy consumption and security. Sorting through a seemingly endless array of connectivity options can be a daunting task. This guide examines some of the most popular wireless technologies available for Industry IoT applications, as well as considerations for each around cost, security and range.

WIFI

WiFi is the best-known and most popular wireless technology. It is ideal for smart home and smart building applications, though it requires too much power for most low-power IIoT applications.

Bluetooth Low Energy (LE)

Bluetooth is a personal area network for short-range communication. Supported by most smartphones and computer makers, it is popular for a wide range of consumer and IoT applications. The latest generation Bluetooth Low Energy (LE) was designed for low-power devices that use less data, like control signals and sensor readings.

LORAWAN (LPWAN)

One of several Low-Power Wide-Area Network (LPWAN) technologies, LoRaWAN is a media access control (MAC) layer protocol designed for large-scale public networks with a single operator. LoRaWAN is intended for battery-powered IIoT devices in industrial environments. Ideal for the digital factory, it offers low-cost, long-range M2M connectivity and strong security with 128-bit AES CCM encryption.

NARROWBAND IOT – NB-IOT (LPWAN)

Narrowband-IoT – or NB-IoT – is an LPWAN technology that addresses cellular M2M communications for low-power, low-data-rate devices. Popular in China, NB-IoT is commonly used in smoke detectors, door locks, alarms and agricultural and environmental sensors.

Advantech Wireless Sensing Devices for your IIoT Application

As a leading provider of IIoT solutions, Advantech develops a wide range of wireless sensing devices for various application fields in order to offer customers the latest solutions to complete their IIoT application systems.

Advantech has developed the WISE-4000 wireless sensor node (WSN) to overcome barriers to connectivity with IIoT and Big Data Technology. Our WISE-4000 series, a cloud-ready data sensing and communication tool, can help you to realize your IIoT system.

Conclusion

You have numerous wireless protocol options to choose from your IIoT connectivity – and it is a crucial decision for the success of your IIoT product. Each technology has its own mix of cost, performance and complexity, so it is essential that you pick the technology that best fits the unique needs of your application.

 

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