I ‘m Network engineer working for a manufacturing plant. Our organization manufactures Al coils and on average production of 50,000 tons. In order to perform the tasks, operator needs to run applications for tracking the stages of its production and document for faster, reliable and accurate results.
We have identified the problem to be Wi-fi Issue. The reasons for weak signals and packet drop/loss inside the plant are material absorption, signal reflection from the walls.
Phase 2: Generate Alternative Solutions – Ready made & Custom made not best one .
The possible solutions are increasing signal strength by having high gain and low loss omni directional antenna rather than directional antenna. In general, Organizations try to boost the signal strength by increasing the Access points & antennas . This can be considered as ready made solution available in the
market. When we considered this case, increases the cost of hardware inventory all over the plant . This is not effective solution even though we might reduce the signal loss.
phase 3: Evaluating Alternatives – out of all options which are best for great profit . Source :
Second possible alternative, we can come up is wired connectivity rather than the wireless technology. but, in our scenario the operator needs to be moving to different locations in the crane. There are various steps that are involved for transferring the coil, such as slab to coil conversion which is hot needs to cooled
and next need to be shipped and packaged as per the customer requirements . Thus, wired connectivity doesn’t seem to help my situation.
Third alternative, we have identified is implementing the latest technology such as 5ghz that are much faster than 2.5ghz for stronger connectivity. But, they got its share of cons. As part of this project we have invested to work with Ekahau tool to reduce the cost by identifying the exact locations and type of antenna
including tilt,distance, angel also calculate the losses.Thus, this choice seems to be more reliable and advanced technically out of all available options
phase 4: Making the choice: consider multiple scenarios raises what if questions for decision makers and highlights the need for contingency plan.
Out of all available options, it took lot of research includes time, energy and money. We have accepted the combination of 5ghz technology combined with tool that satisfy reaching the goal in optimizing way.
phase 5: Implementing the decision: Be prepared that things will not be as expected as the circumstances are not the same. Source : (Bateman, Snell, & Konopaske, 2019, p. 80)
In this stage, we have implemented the plant wide graph and added all the wireless devices, antennas, walls . Thus, we got the output for the best quality signal coverage all over the plant . This is helpful as we are not making any changes in the production environment.
but, tool gives almost same output when implemented in your live network that reduces the cost, time and human power.
phase 6: Evaluating the decision: Consider the feed back and try all 6 steps again in case of not expected outcome .
After implementing the changes applied in tool and 5GHZ we could see there is reliable connectivity of wifi all over the plant. The only downside we found was the 5GHZ is also being used by AGVS which causes the interferences. The possible solution is to move to different channels than the existing one to have smooth
no signal loss.This was not expected but, we could say that we have reached our goal and are in better position than previously. We consider this to be successful as, all the 6 phases have been executed and best decision in our plant network with the available conditions.
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