Manufacturing automation can be fixed like an automated conveyor system, flexible like an automated guided vehicle (AGV), or programmable like an industrial robot. Regardless of the specific technology, reliable communication is essential. Through wireless networking, manufacturers can eliminate the need to install and maintain cables. Wireless networking requires antennas, however, factories that fail to account for line-of-sight (LOS) obstructions risk choosing the wrong antenna products.
LOS vs. NLOS Communications in Manufacturing
Within a manufacturing facility, wireless antennas that depend upon LOS communications face numerous obstructions. For example, to maximize floor space, busy manufacturers may stack pallets near workstations or install metal shelving to minimize trips to a distant warehouse. Industrial machinery can also obstruct LOS communications, and large equipment can have a considerable factory footprint. Ceiling and walls, especially barriers between the factory floor and office space, are also factors to consider.
Antenna technologies like MIMO (multiple input, multiple output) can help, but a non-line-of-sight (NLOS) solution is still needed. MIMO enables a variety of signal paths to carry data from a transmitting antenna to a receiving antenna. Yet, MIMO isn’t immune to fading, a problem associated with multipath wave propagation. The dominant signal is usually the LOS signal, but significant variations in the received signal can occur since reflected signals also arrive at the receiver.
Multi-Polarized Antennas for Factory Automation
Multi-polarized antennas from MP Antenna are ideal for correcting multi-path issues in MIMO and other antenna technologies. Compared to standard antennas with similar or higher laboratory gains, these advanced antennas provide superior performance in obstructed environments like factories. MP’s multi-polarized antennas also outperform all other antennas in quality and reliability while providing faster data speeds and greater coverage for manufacturing automation.
At our Elyria, Ohio (USA) headquarters, MP Antenna makes a wide range of standard products and can design and manufacture custom solutions to meet any wireless system requirement. Our multi-polarized antennas feature patented three-dimensional designs as well as built-in spatial and polarization diversity. For consistent voice and data communication in any situation, multi-polarized antennas from MP are the right solution both for today’s manufacturers and for the factories of the future.
To learn more about multi-polarized antennas for manufacturing automation, contact MP Antenna.