Members of the Wireless Broadband Alliance (WBA) have successfully completed a trial of WiFi 6 in an IIoT (Industrial Internet of Things) scenario.
The first-of-its-kind trial was conducted in the gruelling environment of the Mettis Aerospace factory in the UK. The WBA notes that previous implementation tests with WiFi failed to work in the factory’s challenging environment.
Dave Green, Head of IT at Mettis Aerospace, said:
“The WiFi 6 infrastructure installed as part of the trials has exceeded our expectations in terms of performance, reliable connectivity and consistent coverage across the target area.
We are seeing immediate benefits in terms of the data we’re now able to collect and use. Moving forward, we will be able to vastly increase the data we collect from devices across our business, enhancing our manufacturing processes, reducing variability and increasing productivity.”
Some of the tests conducted at the facility included:
Speeds of 700 Mbps using 80 MHz channels were achieved during the test. Furthermore, latency was kept under 6ms for things such as video calling and streaming.
Tiago Rodrigues, CEO of the Wireless Broadband Alliance, said:
“The completion of this initial phase marks a significant milestone for the adoption of WiFi 6. The Mettis facility is an especially challenging environment for wireless communications with furnaces, presses, and heat, a lot of moving heavy machinery, and the presence of dust and in-air particulates.
Nevertheless, the field tests in this highly charged atmosphere have proven that WiFi 6 technology works well and can play a vital role within the industrial enterprise and IoT ecosystem.
If WiFi 6 can deliver highly reliable, high quality and high bandwidth communications in this type of factory environment, then it can deliver it almost anywhere,”
WBA member companies involved with the trial at the 27-acre facility includes Broadcom, Cisco, iBwave, Intel, Concurrent Engineering, and Keysight.
One of the most impressive trials used Concurrent Engineering’s PTC Vuforia augmented reality software. By positioning a tablet alongside a piece of machinery, an instant reading was provided of the real-time pressure and performance of the machine.
Phase two of the trial will focus on further tests of the mixed reality applications and IoT sensing of key assets. IoT News will keep you updated on the result of that trial.
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