Drives and Controls Magazine

WLAN points can be configured via the Internet

03 March, 2012

Belden has announced what it claims is the first modular system that allows industrial WLAN (wireless local area network) access points and clients to be configured via the Internet. The Hirschmann OpenBat system can be used to set up fast, stable infrastructures and meshed networks, and wireless distribution systems or point-to-point connections. Several thousand different designs can be configured.

“This concept gives users maximum flexibility,” says Belden product manager, Olaf Schilperoort, “because they can configure the optimal equipment for their application, paying only for the features they really need.”

The core component of the system is a patented wireless module for industrial applications, which uses Mimo (multiple input, multiple output) technology to ensure stable wireless connections, even in the presence of reflections and other forms of interference. Fast roaming provides uninterrupted connections when transferring from one radio cell to another.

The system supports IEEE 802.11n transmissions, allowing data speeds of up to 450Mbps in both the 5GHz and the 2.4GHz bands. The number of wireless modules and Ethernet LAN ports can be configured individually, as can the power delivery.

Access points and clients can be equipped with one or two wireless modules. The LAN connections can be configured with one or two ports and these can be used for twisted-pair cables or SFP transceivers.

The wireless modules are available in rail-mounting IP20 or field-deployable IP67 versions.