Wireless industrial network

Industrial WLAN (IWLAN) for high logistics requirements.

Due to the increasing networking of machines and systems in production, WLAN is becoming more and more important in industrial environments. Devices such as forklift trucks and hand-held scanners need to exchange data, which is why a stable network is essential.

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  • Professional Wi-Fi design
  • Identification of required access points
  • Fault analyses of existing Wi-Fi networks
  • Expert commissioning
  • Data security in the wireless industrial network
  • Installation of network components

What are the advantages of a professional WLAN installation?

Today, no company can work without network and Internet access. In many companies, all communication takes place via the World Wide Web. More and more end devices do not have a wired connection to the network, so you should ensure that the WLAN in your company runs smoothly.

EIKONA Logistics provides you with comprehensive support from WLAN planning to coverage in logistics halls or office complexes - in new build planning or in existing buildings. The demands placed on a WLAN infrastructure are heavily dependent on the various operating environments, climatic conditions and structural features. With a centralised management instance for your WLAN network, you are future-proof. Setting up, administering and monitoring access points via a future-orientated WLAN management system saves time and money. EIKONA Logistics relies either on SD-WLAN from the cloud or on a local, controller-based WLAN infrastructure.

Professional planning is the secret to reliable industrial Wi-Fi

Detailed planning is the foundation of a secure, fast, and stable network – regardless of whether it is going in a new building or an existing one. We will talk to you about your expectations of your wireless network infrastructure, including bandwidth, laws and regulations on frequency use, user numbers and external conditions. For example, if you have changing inventories or special racks, we will plan your network accordingly so that your business will operate smoothly later on.

We support you with our expertise and experience during the WLAN planning and installation process. We offer you professional WLAN simulation and coverage to ensure the optimum coverage, performance and security of your WLAN network. With our WLAN simulation, we can test various scenarios and parameters to find the best solution for your requirements.

Wi-Fi 6 – next-generation standard

If you are planning a completely new Wi-Fi infrastructure in your warehouse, we recommend using the new Wi-Fi 6 standard. As the number of moving clients in warehouses increase dramatically, IEEE 802.11ax (Wi-Fi 6) will end up displacing previous standards. Wi-Fi 6 offers higher speed, greater capacity, lower latency and better energy efficiency than the previous standards. This makes Wi-Fi 6 ideal for industrial use cases that require high reliability, security and performance. Even if your warehouse is a long way away from getting new Wi-Fi infrastructure, we recommend verifying that all new end-user devices are compatible with Wi-Fi 6. This will allow you to take full advantage of the new technology in the future.

Network simulation and Wi-Fi design

The certified design process is supported by a software-based network simulation using Ekahau. The simulation takes account of structural conditions, the number of devices and the purpose for using them. This makes it possible to specify the number, configuration and placement of access points and prevent Wi-Fi interference. If simulations fall short due to irregularly shaped buildings or unknown materials in the walls, we will take measurements at the site to verify that you have reliable Wi-Fi coverage everywhere you need it.

Installation of components and commissioning

After the detailed Wi-Fi design phase, we will then install all the required network components. Depending on the environment in your warehouse, we can use access points with a dust-, water-, temperature- and vibration-resistant housing made by LANCOM, a German manufacturer. After that, we will check your Wi-Fi reception. If we find anything causing interference, we will fix it.

Data security in the wireless industrial network

Data security is a sensitive issue, especially for logistics companies. Wi-Fi was long considered a weak point in data transmission security compared to wired networks. Ranges that exceeded the actual requirements and comparatively simple encryption techniques made transmissions vulnerable to eavesdropping. User authentication and good encryption are required.

A laptop on which an industrial WI-FI heatmap is displayed.

Advantages of a WLAN management tool

  • Centralised firmware rollout, monitoring & managementWith the WLAN management tool, firmware updates can be controlled centrally and rolled out to all access points and WLAN routers simultaneously. This enables standardised network control and increases the security and reliability of the network.
  • Zero-Touch DeploymentNew access points can be quickly and easily integrated into your network and configured automatically.
  • Optimisation through Client- and Band-SteeringAvoid connection interruptions when switching between two radio fields and ensure an even load on the WLAN via the dual-band function.
  • Central security functionsWith a WLAN management tool, we can use your company's own security policy to design the WLAN networks efficiently and centrally with extensive virtualisation and security functions.

Rules for better Wi-Fi security

  • Set complex passwords
  • Disable guest accounts in the corporate network
  • Devices without backdoors offer better security
  • Use modern encryption
  • Use security tokens
  • Use branded equipment

Carrying out a WLAN analysis

With the help of comprehensive WLAN planning, analysis and optimisation, we develop a solution that is tailored to your requirements. We use the latest network technology and measurement equipment to measure your rooms and carry out a WLAN simulation. We take into account the signal strength, interference, packet loss and radio frequency interference that may occur in your WiFi frequency range. With a WiFi heat map, we show you how well your WiFi is illuminated and where there is still room for improvement. We identify the possible sources of interference that could affect your WiFi, such as radio masts, external radio networks, defective batteries in industrial trucks, microwave ovens or special wall features.

We develop a suitable solution for you to eliminate or minimise these faults. We optimise your existing WLAN by adapting the configuration of your access points, adding additional components or repositioning the existing ones. We use Wi-Fi 6, the latest WLAN standard, which offers higher speed, better performance and lower latency. We make sure that your Wi-Fi has no dead spots, channel overlaps or other problems. We also check the security-relevant facts of your network to ensure that your WLAN is future-proof. This can be done, for example, via VLANs and firewall rules that restrict access to your sensitive data.

Improve coverage in your
current Wi-Fi network.

We analyse your baseline and explore possible solutions with you.

Wi-Fi analysis and troubleshooting

We use the latest measurement technology and simulations to check your wireless logistics network for signal strength, interference and packet loss.

Sources of interference in the frequency range

Utility poles, radio masts, other wireless networks, defective electrical equipment or changing inventory can interfere frequencies in your warehouse. We will develop a suitable solution for you.

Optimisation of current Wi-Fi coverage

Problems may be caused by dead zones, overlapping channels or overly low or high transmission power output. We optimise the positioning and configuration of your Wi-Fi components and add new ones as needed.

Checking security-relevant facts

We assess your Wi-Fi with regard to security-related facts and ensure that the encryption is up to date.

EIKONA Logistics Blog WLAN in logistics: More efficiency with a new standard

When many end-user devices are moved rapidly and used simultaneously – why Wi-Fi 6 advances logistics.

Get the most out of your logistics!

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Frequently asked questions

What factors do you consider when selecting a company to set up WiFi?

The only good network is a fully functional WiFi network. That requires careful planning, including surveying or simulation. This saves companies a lot of "clean-up" work because it avoids problems and disruptions from the start. Companies should always ask what tools a service provider uses and why it uses them before awarding a contract. In our case, we rely on Ekahau, a world-leading provider of tools for simulating and designing WiFi networks. Companies shouldn't think about hardware at a consumer scale. Almost everyone has a WiFi network at home and knows that cheap devices work reasonably well for personal use. In business, however, you also have to consider performance, security and support. It may be tempting to buy the cheapest hardware, but that can backfire if, for example, its firmware stops being updated and thus develops security holes. We therefore recommend the following: Ask critical questions, demand plausible explanations of proposals and processes, have technical jargon translated and do not let yourself be brushed off with vague reassurances.

What role does legacy client hardware play in setting up WiFi?

When setting up WLAN, we always take into account the weakest devices in the company, such as mobile handheld scanners with low transmission power. We adapt the access points accordingly to ensure a reliable connection and enable smooth roaming. Clients decide for themselves when to switch access points based on defined thresholds. The supported security protocols and frequencies of the clients also influence the WLAN configuration.

Which WiFi hardware vendors are particularly good?

As everywhere, this market contains cheap products, a large midfield and some exceptional providers. We consider the technical specifications required for the concrete use case and then make recommendations in our consultation. At the same time, like all reputable suppliers, we will also base our choice of equipment on our customers' preferences. One of the vendors we regularly recommend is LANCOM. This is a German company that follows very strict data protection regulations. These devices have no backdoors that can be used to disable security functions, eliminating a significant weak point for hackers to exploit. This is one reason why these access points are allowed to be used in deliberative bodies such as state parliaments. LANCOM was also the first company to implement WPA3 encryption in its devices and thus blazed a trail for other vendors to follow. We also use Ubiquiti equipment for smaller WiFi installations and situations requiring lower-cost solutions.