Wireless Communication Testbed

Wireless Communication Testbed

Short-range communications technology for industrial environments is a key enabler of the ‘Industrial Internet of Things‘. Whether it is used for predictive maintenance, operational dashboard or digital twin development, IIoT requires reliable communication between a number of sensors and a control unit which analyses the data provided. However, the choice of the optimum communication protocol within the shear number of protocols in use today can be complex as it generally results from a compromise between different limits, specific to every application:
  • Challenging electromagnetic environments, disturbing the communication signals
  • Other specific environments such as open-air facilities
  • Low-energy requirements of mobile sensing applications
  • Distance between the sensors and the control unit
  • Eventual already implemented protocol
  • Allocable budget
So as better assist clients on the Industry 4.0 / digitisation journey, and in complement to its industrial sensing suite, IMaR has acquired a suite of wireless industrial communications platforms. The aim of this testbed is to help companies to choose the protocol that best suits their application by providing a trialling capacity covering the major low-power short-range (<500m) wireless communication platforms.
The suite includes LoRa, LTE, Sigfox, GSM, WiFi, ZigBee and Bluetooth Low Energy together with industrial integration fieldbus technology; ModBus, EthernetIP and EtherCad.
This wireless testbed’s Use Cases are:
  • Feasibility studies:
    • Determination of the optimum wireless communication platform
    • Based on a specific application
    • Tests performed directly in the final environment, minimizing the risk of unpredicted disturbance at deployment step
    • With the support and advice from IMaR’s IIoT specialists
    • Cost estimation before deployment
  • Deployment of Industrial Internet of Things solutions:
    • Feasibility study (see above)
    • Prototyping
    • On-site implementation
The wireless testbed is also used to empower our services range.