Warehouse automation is improving accuracy, reducing physical and mental strain on human workers, and eliminating tedious, manual tasks. Today, warehouse robotics are used for picking, sorting, packaging, transportation, and replenishment. Leading technologies include automated guided vehicles (AGVs), automated storage and retrieval systems (AS/RS), collaborative robots (cobots), and articulated arms.
Warehouse and Wireless Communications
To support these automation technologies, warehouse operators need reliable wireless communications. For example, AGVs that navigate along a free path need antennas that can connect to wireless access points (WAP) in obstructed environments and then switch WAPs when communication paths change and handovers occur. If there are lag times in communication, AGV movement may slow or stop altogether.
Within a warehouse or distribution center, however, line-of-sight communications (LOS) can be difficult to maintain. Along with densely-packed storage units, the cranes and vertical life modules in an AS/RS are common obstructions. Echo, noise, and channel sharing can also cause data losses. For real-time coordination, low latencies are required for wireless communications with controllers.
Traditional Antennas vs. Multi-Polarized Antennas
For warehouse operators, it’s important to understand that the radio waves that pass between antennas are like a smoke bomb. These waves penetrate differently-shaped nooks and crannies in a variety of polarizations, or planes. Standard antennas usually receive or transmit a signal with a limited polarization, but multi-polarized antennas have built in spatial diversity.
Traditional antennas receive horizontal or vertical radio signals on what’s known as the X and Y planes, respectively. Multi-polarized antennas receive radio waves not only on the X and Y planes, but also on the Z-plane. Moreover, multi-polarized antennas process the various radio signals to find the strongest one and then provide the best wireless connection for that location.
MP Antenna Supports Warehouse Automation
Multi-polarized antennas from MP Antenna of Elyria, Ohio (USA) propagate signals with considerably less loss than most other antenna products. At the receiving end, our antennas can connect more clients with higher data-throughout rates either at a distance or in closer proximity. That’s true for both non-line-of-sight (NLOS) locations and for near-LOS ones as well.
To learn more about MP Antenna’s solutions for warehouse automation, contact us.