Is Your Wireless Infrastructure Hurting Your Warehouse Operations?

Many Mobile devices are also designed to "WiFi roam" within the warehouse, which means that moving between WiFi Access Points ( APs)  should not cause the signal to be dropped, but continue to work seamlessly and continuing to send and receive information to the ERP or WMS.  This depends on using "industrial WiFi" where the APs work behind the scenes to manage the data so that the user is never disconnected. True industrial mobile devices from companies such as Zebra and Datalogic,also contain dual antennas, so that data is transmitted on one antenna while the other is negotiating with the local APs to select the best performance and range.


Even the best designed Industrial WiFi needs to be optimised to keep up with a changing warehouse environment. Products with different types of RF density can dramatically affect how your mobile devices perform and can create Black Spots where the WiFi signal is too weak to work properly.  The RF density of a product is how much or the WiFi signal is absorbed or reflected by the goods in the warehouse and its not as obvious as you might think to figure out which are the worst for causing signal loss. Water and other liquids are bad and so are any products that contain significant amounts of either, but surprisingly metals, including racking, are not so bad, as the signal is reflected rather than absorbed and bounces around like a reflection in a hall of mirrors and so the signal is not lost.

Many Mobile devices are also designed to "wifi roam" within the warehouse, which means that moving between WiFi Access Points ( APs)  should not cause the signal to be dropped, but continue to work seamlessly and continuing to send and receive information to the ERP or WMS.  This depends on using "industrial WiFi" where the APs work behind the scenes to manage the data so that the user is never disconnected. True industrial mobile devices from companies such as Zebra and Datalogic,also contain dual antennas, so that data is transmitted on one antenna while the other is negotiating with the local APs to select the best performance and range.

If you are implementing a new WLAN, the process should start with a full wireless site survey. The design of your WiFi network will depend on the vendor or systems integrator knowing how the warehouse is laid out, what potential sources of interference exist, and what types of stock will be stored there. For highly dynamic warehouses, all potential stocking and staffing scenarios should be considered in advance to ensure the network can perform under all circumstances.

If you are implementing a new WLAN, the process should start with a thorough wireless site survey. The RF design of your network will depend on the vendor or systems integrator knowing how the warehouse is laid out, what potential sources of interference exist, and what types of stock will be stored there. For highly dynamic warehouses, all potential stocking and staffing scenarios should be considered in advance to ensure the network can perform under all circumstances.

Once the network is up and running, it should be regularly audited and tuned. This requires additional site surveys, which can uncover new sources of interference or additional coverage problems.

Typically, these issues may include dead zones with no coverage, competition for bandwidth, or sluggish throughput. Depending on the nature of the problem, you may need to increase your access point density or increase AP power. That’s because many smaller handheld devices don’t have enough power to effectively communicate with the access points. The wireless infrastructure should be configured to serve the lowest-powered mobile devices that will be used in the facility.

The network should also be designed with redundancy in mind, so that if there is a problem with a single AP, mobile devices can quickly roam to a neighboring AP and minimize downtime. If the wireless infrastructure will carry voice in addition to data traffic, the network should be configured to prioritize the more latency-sensitive voice traffic.


If your warehouse WiFi is letting your Warehouse Operation down, call for a free consultation on 01200 441977 or email sales@dashcomputer.co.uk

United Kingdom

Phone 01200 441977
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