Wireless Coexistence: How to Reach a Peaceful Get-Together

14 November 2009

The reliable parallel operation of wireless radio systems in production plants has been confirmed by studies carried out by the ‘Wireless in Automation’ working group of the ZVEI (German Electrical and Electronic Manufacturers' Association).

Coexistence of Wireless Systems in Automation Technology
Coexistence of Wireless Systems in Automation Technology

The ZVEI has published a brochure, Coexistence of Wireless Systems in Automation Technology to provide explanations on the factors that need to be taken into account.

Wireless systems such as WLAN or Bluetooth have been used in the home and in the office for many years. They are also being used increasingly in the automation systems of plants and machines.

However, the requirements on availability and interference immunity associated with such applications are often considerably higher. For example, applications may require defined response times with very high availability.

A number of electrical automation manufacturers jointly investigated the topic of coexistence of wireless solutions in industrial applications under the umbrella of the ZVEI.

For this purpose, ifak - Institut für Automation und Kommunikation e.V. Magdeburg - was asked to carry out extensive measurements: the update times of around 120,000,000 packet transmissions were measured, processed and statistically evaluated in approximately 400 practical test cases.

The most important findings have been summarised in a brochure which explains the important characteristics for differentiating wireless systems, their behaviour during parallel operation and measures for coexistence management.

It makes users aware of why and how they should consider the topic of coexistence of wireless systems.

Above all, the brochure shows how simple it is to avoid mutual wireless interference and to implement interference-free parallel operation.

This brochure can be downloaded (in English or in German) as a PDF file at: www.zvei.org/automation/publication

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