Customers can sometimes have a hard time understanding the concept of a kinetic mesh network and its real-life applications. Madison and PAStech wanted to show customers just how simple and easy it can be to create and install a working solution within a short time period. Often, getting different original equipment manufacturer (OEM) technologies working together can be challenging on a project. In the case of this solution, it was proven that Rajant operates across Layer 2 Ethernet and can support the transport of Mobotix IP Camera data without any complex configuration or hardware interfaces required. Industry challenges include:
Rajant addressees the opportunities presented by Industry4.0 and introduces efficiency coupled with safety and smart logistics. This includes, seamless connectivity, video surveillance, conveyor belts, dispatch and handling, personnel safety and stock and inventory management.
Madison Technologies, an authorised Kinetic Mesh Distributor (KMD) and PAStech, an authorised Kinetic Mesh Partner (KMP) of Rajant, worked collaboratively to develop a ‘proof of concept’ for Rajant Kinetic Mesh to demonstrate to interested customers across the Asia-Pacific region. Madison and PAStech set out to design and implement a demonstration of a wireless networking solution based around displaying a successful working model of the Rajant Kinetic Mesh network within the Madison Technologies headquarters (HQ) warehouse. By developing a solution inside the warehouse location with floor to ceiling storage racks, with a forklift loading and unloading continually, the application demonstrates the true advantages of a mesh network, particularly with a moving asset that stays connected even when Rajant Mesh BreadCrumbs are shielded from each other. The Rajant Kinetic mesh network simply chooses a different route to connect to the forklift as it moves around the warehouse.
The solution involves three Rajant KM3-2450R BreadCrumbs in fully sealed and protected wall mount enclosures. Madison and PAStech also installed a Rajant ME4-2450R BreadCrumb to a Madison forklift, connected to an onboard GPS puck for location. The Rajant BreadCrumb is also connected via a Rajant POE Injector to a Mobotix S26 Flex Camera with a 180 degree lens mounted on the rear of the forklift. The network topology allows the mesh to form a ‘triangular’ communication pattern to locate and communicate to the forklift in any location as it moves in and around the warehouse. There are no point-to-point communications constraints because the wireless mesh communicates to the forklift using an ‘always makes before breaks’ method, which maintains continuous communication across the whole warehouse and entire network. The Kinetic Mesh connected between the warehouse and Madison Technologies corporate office is then received by a further Rajant KM3-2450R BreadCrumb, connected to a Moxa POE Switch. The Moxa POE Switch communicates with a Moxa 19-inch industrial panel PC. Rajant BC Enterprise software operates on the Moxa 19-inch panel display for visualisation and analysis and shows overall connected performance of the Rajant Kinetic Mesh network. The Moxa industrial Panel PC also displays the live streamed image from the Mobotix IP Camera and allows for further archiving and analysis of IP camera data as required by system users.
The Rajant solution was working the same day of deployment and displayed Mobotix Camera data from the forklift and GPS position immediately via Rajant BC Enterprise. This solution took less than two weeks to complete including forward ordering of all hardware, manufacture of warehouse panels and the installation and configuration of the wireless network solution.
The solution provides a real example of the success of an industrial grade Wireless Mesh network in a challenging environment and provides a starting point for further possible extensions to the network, providing a foundation now for further M2M asset tracking, facility CCTV and weather data across several fixed and mobile points around Madison Technologies HQ. The solution also offers a fully operational training platform for future Rajant Partners to familiarise themselves with the setup and optimisation of a Rajant Kinetic Mesh network whilst becoming certified for future Rajant deployment projects.
This demonstration has been well received by Madison Technologies and PAStech customers looking for a highly secure, high bandwidth, low latency network solution. It also provides further understanding of Rajant Kinetic Mesh solutions and how they can be deployed, not only in warehousing, but also in a range of other industrial environments such as manufacturing.
The warehouse / distribution centre is a technology-ecosystem. Its automated and interconnected technologies help to drive supply chain efficiencies. The distribution centre of today needs to embrace Industry4.0 to meet the growing pressures applied from all segments of the supply chain. At the centre of this is seamless, reliable connectivity.
Connected technologies and big data in warehouses and distribution centres (DCs) isn’t new. However, they have been mainly limited to discrete systems and siloed data. Industry4.0 presents an opportunity to standardise a communications and platform and centralise data paving the way for a more flexible environment and transforming it from cost centre to strategic facility.
Rajant Kinetic Mesh Networks are at the heart of smart warehousing, ensuring that the various components work together seamlessly and from the go. Robots can communicate with RFID scanners, which can communicate with conveyors, which can communicate with a warehouse management system (WMS). Rajant Kinetic Mesh Networks make all of this happen automatically and seamlessly, without losing any data along the way and ensuring connectivity across the board for distribution centres today.