Extending the useful life of industrial wireless devices

05 November 2013

Belden has introduced Hirschmann HiLCOS 8.8, the latest version of its WLAN firmware to manage its full range of OpenBAT industrial wireless devices, and the first to support IPv6, which is intended to replace IPv4.

A key benefit is that the useful life of installed wireless devices can now be extended, as they will still be able to communicate via public WLAN networks for which IPv4 addresses are now no longer being allocated.

Explaining further, Pascal Unterdorfer, product manager, said: “The new HiLCOS 8.8 firmware opens up new possibilities for using WLAN in automation, for example, in power supply applications. These use public networks to control power distribution, making IPv6 routing an absolute must.”

HiLCOS 8.8 is now available as a free download from www.hirschmann.com. The new firmware also offers extensive management, redundancy and security functions. When used in combination with the OpenBAT access points, HiLCOS 8.8 is said to enable 450 Mbit/s WLAN connections for maximum stability and reliability. This firmware can also be installed in most of the devices in the BAT54 and BAT300 series and in BAT controllers.

To ensure uninterrupted service, it features a band steering function, which transfers clients’ radio communications to the 5 GHz frequency band if the 2.4 GHz band is overloaded. In this band, it is also possible to carry out frequency analyses to determine whether any Bluetooth devices or wireless HART sensors are using it.

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