Warehouse and distribution centres are classic examples of dynamic industrial environments that present communications and technology challenges much more stringent than those of the carpeted space. Today’s warehouses are bigger, taller and more densely packed than ever. There are more SKUs, shorter cycles, and a premium on fast, accurate fulfilment.
As companies strive to respond more quickly and accurately to customer demands, the value of efficient process automation and inventory visibility, storage, movement and control is hard to overestimate. As warehouse environments become more reliant on real-time communications technology to automate and streamline processes, the initial step towards achieving flawless fulfilment is deployment of a truly industrial-strength wireless and mobile solution.
Industrial wireless and mobile challenges
The nature of industrial environments is in a constant state of flux, requiring wireless networks to quickly adapt to changing dynamics. Inventory and equipment are continuously being shipped and moved, changing the physical state of the space virtually minute-to-minute. There is also their growing size, with structures getting bigger, taller and more dense, and often encompassing both indoor and outdoor facilities and hundreds of thousands of square feet that challenge coverage and connectivity. Equally important is the need for mobility. Industrial environments have never been more on the move – in terms of people, equipment, materials and merchandise – than they are today.
Challenging warehouse environments need industrial-strength wireless networks to overcome numerous issues and pain points.
Industrial wireless pain points
As warehouses increase in size, a lack of seamless nomadic communications with workers roaming the space can cause costly inefficiencies in virtually every function – from receiving to picking to shipping.
Downtime and unavailability
With automation and mechanisation so critical to warehouse process efficiency, unreliable technology leads to downtime that can wreak costly havoc in operations, customer satisfaction and ROI.
Bottlenecks and congestion
Older, outdated warehouse technology is too often unable to deliver the high levels of bandwidth needed to overcome efficiency-sapping operational bottlenecks.
An inability to support today’s wide variety of devices – laptops, handheld computers, tablets, barcode scanners, mobile printers, RFID readers and more – leads to unreliable communications and process automation.
Industrial wireless and mobile solutions
Industrial-strength wireless networks enable automation and mechanisation of labour-intensive processes such as receiving, put-away, storage, cycle counting, picking, packing, loading and shipping. They can also deliver high performance in difficult cold storage environments such as refrigerators, freezers and coolers. Industrial wireless systems deliver real-time access to the WMS, providing a robust and reliable user interface on a range of devices to enhance worker productivity. They provide persistent connections on roaming warehouse equipment such as forklifts and crawlers, as well as connectivity for all handheld scanners and mobile computers in use across the space. The networks can also help assure efficiency with locationing capabilities that identify the presence of workers, assets and vehicles for optimal task management. The result is secure, streamlined end–to-end operations in warehouses and distribution centres, and throughout the entire supply chain.
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Leading Solution Components
AP 7522 Access Point
Get 802.11ac speed at a competitive price point with the AP 7522 access point. The comprehensive feature set and 2X2 MIMO provide all your mobile users with a dependable high performance wireless connection.
AP 7532 Access Point
The AP 7532 is packed with a comprehensive feature set including a next generation 802.11ac radio that delivers up to four times the speed of 802.11n plus an 802.11n radio to provide backwards compatibility.
Centralised management and control for wireless deployment – a single console for multi-vendor and multi-generation WLAN management, troubleshooting, and security.