Engineering 101

Overcoming Wi-Fi Network Challenges in Smart Manufacturing

Moxa has released the MXview Wireless add-on module for its MXview industrial network management software. MXview streamlines network management by visualizing networks, helping non-IT staff simplify operations and improve network uptime.

This software has successfully helped many customers from around the world in different industries, such as in power, intelligent transportation, and manufacturing. Today, with the rise of smart manufacturing, intelligent and reliable industrial network communication has become the cornerstone for nearly every smart application.

In response to the transformation of the industrial environment and increasing number of Wi-Fi applications, the new MXview Wireless add-on module fulfills the different requirements of both static and dynamic wireless applications in smart manufacturing. With reliable network communications as a foundation and real-time network management from a single pane of glass, business owners can focus on improving operational efficiency and achieving maximum system uptime.

Visualize Wi-Fi Networks for Optimal Operational Efficiency

Intelligent process control is a typical static wireless application in smart manufacturing where customers use Wi-Fi to establish the communication between the clients installed at production lines and the control center. However, an unstable wireless connection might lead to wrong decision-making due to incomplete on-site information or dropped connections, affecting optimal production processes.

It’s often difficult to know the exact status of the Wi-Fi connection and fix issues immediately the moment they occur. The MXview Wireless add-on module simplifies network management by allowing users to get detailed device information and performance indicator charts for individual AP and client devices from the device dashboard.

“A major benefit of this module is that users can now view the wireless and wired network status from a single main control dashboard. This feature not only lets you quickly understand the network conditions of the factory, but also makes network management much easier,” said Lyra Li, Product Manager at Moxa.

Furthermore, users can monitor connectivity patterns and customize alert settings to immediately notify you of any problems. In turn, this allows engineers to perform on-site troubleshooting quickly and efficiently, ensuring maximum network availability.

Easy Troubleshooting for Maximum System Uptime

In automated material handling (AMH) systems, the Wi-Fi connections must be able to dynamically adapt to the constantly moving vehicles. An unstable wireless signal could easily disrupt the operation of these systems. However, wireless connections are invisible and affected by a lot of different factors. The MXview Wireless add-on features a dynamic topology view to let users see the status of wireless links and connection changes at a glance.

Moreover, since automated vehicles constantly roam between different APs around the facility, users can overlay the network topology on top of a floor map of the facility to easily locate the vehicle by just checking the client’s wireless connection. This helps save a great deal of time when trying to identify a malfunctioning client device.

“The roaming playback function lets users review a client’s roaming history of the past 30 days to repeat an incident. Users can leverage this function to find and address the root cause more efficiently, instead of having to consolidate and examine individual device logs,” added Li. Exclusively developed by Moxa, these two functions are specially designed to fulfill the growing requirements of automated factories, smart logistics, and other intelligent applications.

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