Future of Industrial Wireless Networks on the Factory Floor

The challenges faced by today’s manufacturer are in many ways the same as they’ve been in the past: maintain the right amount of inventory, optimize production efficiency and never lose sight of quality. Yet addressing these challenges has become more tied to the underlying technology than ever before.

Innovation and digital manufacturing are now made possible with the infrastructure, which brings full network capability and wireless-enabled applications and systems that cuts costs while increasing productivity and output.

To keep up, manufacturers are updating their facilities and network infrastructure to take advantage of today’s industrial wireless network capabilities, and experiencing significant business benefits:

  • Uptime and productivity: In manufacturing, time is most definitely money, and when production is halted, thousands of dollars can be lost in a matter of minutes. By connecting the people running the line with the machines right on the floor, today’s wireless technologies can accelerate decision making and keep the workforce close to where the production is happening.
  • Cost reduction: Aside from the obvious cost savings of wireless over wired, there are other reasons a modern wireless network can impact the bottom line. Wireless enables faster time to market with increased communication efficiencies and reduced complexities.
  • Real-time decision making: Like any modern business, the faster decisions can be made in response to market shifts, the more quickly those decision impact the business. Wireless collaboration in a manufacturing facility not only increases collaboration, but drives a whole new level of visibility across the factory floor, giving employees the power to resolve issues faster. In addition, the impact that mobile devices can have, empowering employees throughout the plant to work where they’re needed most is changing the game for today’s manufacturer.

It’d be hard to dispute the impact that industrial wireless networking has had in manufacturing, but there are often still misconceptions around its reliability, security, bandwidth and latency. In this informative Cisco eBook, they explore some of these misconceptions and offer some tips for getting wireless right in today’s modern manufacturing.

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