How LoRa opens up new opportunities in industrial IoT

Author : Yuan Lee, Product Sales Manager & Tim Taberner, Technical Sales Director | Advantech

01 March 2021

Advantech LoRaWAN sensing network
Advantech LoRaWAN sensing network

Over the past 5 years, wireless technology has grown in importance in the industrial sector. So why all this interest in wireless? Well, there are several key reasons – and in this tutorial, Yuan Lee, Product Sales Manager & Tim Taberner, Technical Sales Director at industrial IoT specialist, Advantech introduce us to wireless technologies & their applications in industrial automation, explaining why both interest & adoption have grown…

The full version of this tutorial was originally featured in the March 2021 issue of EPDT magazine [read the digital issue]. Sign up to receive your own copy each month.

Why all the interest in wireless?
1. Cost savings on overall engineering and installation: Wireless coverage doesn’t need physical cabling to each and every end point or machine that needs connectivity  and monitoring. This can significantly reduce the costs and complexities of installation, enabling data to be collected from points which would otherwise be uneconomic to monitor.

2. Flexibility when future expansion is needed: A well-planned wireless deployment allows expansion or redeployment of infrastructure easily and quickly with zero downtime.

3. The value of data: Mobility, Industry 4.0, industrial internet of things (IIoT), factory digitalisation and OEE (overall equipment effectiveness) monitoring – the key input to all these applications is data. Data which was previously of minor interest is becoming increasingly valuable for optimising workflows, saving costs and predicting future needs. However, what type of data is valuable? What is the cost for collecting data? These are the two key factors that companies should focus on.

What is the right wireless technology for my needs?
Every wireless technology has different advantages and disadvantages. Specifying which technology can provide the correct solution depends on multiple factors. These factors can include:
•  Cost structure (infrastructure, wireless licensing models)
•  Data transmission size & frequency
•  Time sensitivity
•  Scale of the application
•  Required coverage (local, national, worldwide)
•  Power availability & requirements
•  Network topology

Read the full tutorial article in EPDT's March 2021 issue...

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