The Top Three Reasons to Integrate Wireless Into Your Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) Operations

Adding wireless to your IIoT operations is more critical now than ever before.

Connected “things” are changing our world. 

Today, Internet-connected sensors and devices transform what surrounds us, from our homes to our cars, workplaces, to cities. And now, more people are discovering the ways Internet-connected things can transform industrial operations. 

The Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) places intelligent devices and network sensors on manufacturing floors, utilities, farms, mining operations, oil and gas fields, and more. And there are good reasons for the rapid proliferation of connected sensors and devices in the field. 

Here are some of the reasons why more industries, businesses, and facilities are investing in IIoT:

  • Universal Internet connectivity
  • Reduced hardware costs
  • Affordable analytics tools
  • Increased availability of IIoT-ready sensors and devices
  • Improved operations, performance, and worker safety

Integrating wireless and the Industrial Internet of Things takes your operations to the next level. 

When you integrate wireless with IIoT-connected devices in remote or ruggedized locations, you transform operations. You can add instant WiFi connectivity to remote and mobile assets and connect WiFi-enabled devices to your existing 900MHz networks.

Integrating wireless and IIoT also lets you connect any device to the Internet from any location, including sensors, tablets, smartphones, and security cameras. And you can do it without having to install routers at each location for WiFi connectivity. 

With the pandemic placing restrictions on on-site employee availability and the increase of operational difficulty across industries, integrating wireless and IIoT just makes sense. 

It makes data available virtually instantly (without the wireless integration, on-site data is often inaccessible until you’re within reach of headquarters) and keeps operations running smoothly under challenging circumstances. The integration can also help to secure field equipment vulnerable to security threats and theft. 

Keep reading to learn the top three benefits of integrating wireless with your IIoT operations by industry. 

The Top Three Benefits for Systems Integrators and Network Consultants in Precision Agriculture:

  • Operational efficiency
  • Asset management
  • Increased communications 

By integrating wireless and IIoT, precision agriculture operations can communicate at long range with devices on mobile assets like tractors and machinery. Operators can use their wireless and IIoT integration to provide location reports for asset tracking, command and control, real-time sensor/output tracking, and more. 

The wireless integration also allows operators to connect to the Internet at 900MHz range (up to 60 miles) for general communications. Mobile equipment is WiFi-enabled when running, allowing for the seamless connection of smart devices and headquarters. 

Data Story

Modern agriculture machines rely on WiFi-enabled tablet devices in truck cabs for command and control. They depend not only on the control mechanisms but also a suite of sensors integrated into the machinery to send reports to tablet controllers. The tablets can connect to wireless and IIoT integrated platforms as WiFi clients. FreeWave Fusion Bridge™, for example, will create a seamless connection to headquarters, sending information like position, status, uptime, or relevant sensor data. The communication allows for efficient fleet management and equipment health and staff monitoring. 

Conversely, headquarters can send commands and information to on-site equipment to direct assets in real-time. 

The Top Three Benefits for Mobile Operators, Oil and Gas, Utilities, and Other Businesses with Remote Mobile Assets

  • Mobile WiFi access
  • Fleet Management
  • Coarse asset tracking

Through the integration of IIoT and wireless, as the driver or technician checks on assets like oil pads, they can activate a purpose-built device (Fusion Bridge, for example) to establish a WiFi access point at any remote location. 

And instead of having a WiFi access point at each pad, which requires power and creates potential security risks, the driver can take the WiFi access point with them and enable or disable the AP as needed. The hardware also avoids the recurring costs typically associated with a cellular solution.

With technology like Fusion Bridge, our wireless/IIoT integration solution, the technician can directly install the hardware into the truck system and use the truck’s battery for power, creating a WiFi connection anywhere within the truck’s range without patching into well pad power.

Fusion Bridge also lets the operator activate the WiFi access point only when needed, eliminating always-on remote AP security concerns. 

Data Story

Suppose an on-site technician at a remote well pad needs internal network access from headquarters. In that case, they can activate hardware powered by their service vehicle to change cloud system settings or even send emails. Fusion Bridge connects to an existing network (ZumLink in this example) that provides a WiFi access point interface. 

The technician can log-on and perform any action requiring an Internet connection. Without this kind of hardware, connectivity would require an additional – and costly – network solution, like cellular or a separate long-range WiFi system. 

The Top Three Benefits to All Other Industries Using IIoT 

  • Enhanced on-site security
  • Improved operational value
  • Asset management 

Integrating wireless and IIoT helps you monitor on-site equipment or systems for security and maintenance. For example, the integration allows you to conduct remote surveillance with motion detection or low-resolution imagery up to a one-kilometer range. It also lets you connect multiple devices to a single endpoint on a remote network. 

Tools like FreeWave Fusion Bridge let you install and integrate off-the-shelf wireless security equipment quickly. The flexibility allows for multiple security levels, from motion detection for indoor or fenced-in assets to streaming video for assets requiring regular video or recorded monitoring. 

Data Story

Remote fuel stations are at risk of vandalism and theft, but a third-party security system or personnel is cost-prohibitive. Fusion Bridge can be installed on-site with an IP camera and motion detector. Headquarters can monitor motion detector status in the cloud, and when they detect motion after hours, they can activate cameras to record the activity and alert the authorities if necessary. 

You can install the system in less than one day with off-the-shelf equipment and services and a power connection (no wiring) and operate at a distance of up to 60 miles from the closest ZumLink radio. And since it runs on a private network, it doesn’t incur recurring costs. 

There’s never been a better time to integrate wireless with IIoT. 

We’re living in unprecedented times (this statement is tired, but unfortunately, it’s true). The era calls for increased technology adoption across industries to maintain operations, keep people and equipment safe, and succeed. 

We designed FreeWave’s new Fusion Bridge platform to increase operational performance and worker safety and communications. The dual-radio WiFi bridge adds seamless WiFi Access Point connectivity to remote 900MHz networks, connecting multiple wireless devices and sensors in the field to create new opportunities for connectivity, efficiency, and asset management. 

Ready to integrate wireless into your operations? Contact Us Today:

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Designed, manufactured and tested in the USA.

© 2023 FreeWave Technologies, Inc. All rights reserved.