25 January 2019
Over the last decade, the level of connectivity offered by
the mobile devices that we carry with us has evolved from a luxury feature to
an essential part of our everyday lives.
With that in mind, it’s little surprise that connectivity
has become just as essential in the workplace. It’s especially important in
environments where mobile workers rely on the connectivity between the mobile
device they use and a central management system in order to do their job.
In many warehouse situations for example, staff use a mobile
device to receive job information from a Warehouse Management System (WMS).
Then, once they have completed the tasks as requested, they simply upload
information back to the WMS wirelessly.
This ensures a simple, effective and efficient flow of
information that removes the need for time consuming admin or paper-based form
filling. But the exchange of digital information can grind to a halt if
connectivity is not available for any reason.
The problem is that warehouse Wi-Fi in particular can be a
challenging and often frustrating barrier to overcome in order to achieve
reliable connections. Often the problems are relatively minor and could have
been avoided if devices were chosen and pre-configured for their end use.
But when installing wireless infrastructure there are many options
to consider, and each piece of the puzzle must be carefully chosen if the final
outcome is to be a true success. A site survey to identify any potential issues
is often the best way to ensure an installation goes smoothly.
Warehouses are complex environments, and unexpected interference
is a common occurrence if new technology is not installed or set up correctly.
Here we look at some of the typical issues that can affect
connectivity in the warehouse.
with rugged mobile computer settings
A lot of the issues that we
have seen around connectivity problems actually stem from new mobile devices
that have been selected to use in a warehouse environment.
When devices are purchased off
the shelf from retailers they are often not set up correctly for the job for
which they are intended.
Getting the settings right on
a device is not as simple as it may first seem, as advanced options can be hard
to find. Fine tuning is often needed to make a device more effective for the
job at hand.
An incorrectly set up device can
impact connectivity. For example, some rugged devices have a sleep mode built
into their radio. This means if the devices are inactive for a while they can
go into sleep mode, cutting the flow of data.
At TouchStar we can help
alleviate these issues as we pre-configure devices according to how they will be
operated in order to achieve seamless deployment and continuous usage.
the right access point specification
Choosing the correct grade
access points is vital to achieve consistent connectivity. An incorrect or
sub-optimal installation can have a crippling effect if it’s not fit for
The importance of purchasing
enterprise grade access points cannot be underestimated if you want to ensure a
reliable connection for all of your staff.
You can imagine the situation
of a warehouse employee using a truck mounted device but losing connection as
they quickly move from one location in the warehouse to another. That’s the
impact of non-enterprise access points that are not designed for roaming.
It is also important to make
sure that appropriate antennas are selected for the environment they are
intended for, whether it be internal or external.
Working with a trusted
partner to identify and install the correct access points can make the process
much easier and remove any chance of encountering stubborn problems, offering
piece of mind and confidence in the solution
Correct positioning of access
the right access points for the job is one thing, but ensuring they are
correctly placed is another issue that is often overlooked, resulting in
limited connectivity and other issues.
and height should be considered early on in any wireless infrastructure
installation or upgrade. At TouchStar, we provide a thorough survey of the site
to ensure reliable coverage and the adherence of best practice principles.
example, many access points will be affected by the height at which they are
placed due to their antenna pattern. Despite this, they are often mounted to
the ceilings in warehouses – meaning they can be two or three times higher than
the maximum recommended height of five metres.
can affect coverage and mean that some locations that were expected to be
connected zones may actually be blackout zones instead.
latest standards TouchStar can deliver secure, high performance wireless
coverage. TouchStar can take you through the steps to create the “best
fit" real time solution that will deliver real competitive advantage to
your operational processes.
us on +44 (0) 161 874 5050 for more information and to discuss your needs with
our wireless infrastructure experts. We offer a complete range of wireless
network planning, survey, implementation and support services - fully priced
solutions will be provided upon the results of our site surveys.