steute Schaltgeräte GmbH & Co. KG (Germany) – The business division "Wireless" from steute has recently presented its new wireless switchgear and also a completely new platform for the integration of wireless switchgear in user IT structures.
At field level, the sWave.NET wireless network facilitates variable communication between wireless switching devices and access points, which function in a similar manner to a router. They receive signals from wireless switching devices, bundle them and then transmit them, e.g. by Ethernet or Wi-Fi, to one or several application servers.
The access points (see photo) are installed across the transmission range and communicate with the wireless switchgear. Approx. 100 wireless switches can be administered per access point. If more sensors are required within the range of an sWave.NET access point, additional access points can be registered. When a switching device sends out a signal, the order of the access points it reaches is fixed. If transmission fails at the first access point, the second is addressed, and so on. This guarantees very high transmission reliability.
The corresponding application server contains a database, provided by steute, which collects all information at field level before transferring it, either directly or via middleware, to the customer IT platform (enterprise resource planning/ERP, production data acquisition/PDA, condition monitoring system/CMS, inventory management system/IMS….), if required also via Web services to multiple-site IT systems. This guarantees continuous communication from the individual switching device to the top of the company IT hierarchy.
sWave.NET uses an exceptionally stable and yet low-energy wireless protocol within the universally available 868/915 MHz waveband, transmitting to each receiver unit with high reliability and high quality. In addition to electromechanical wireless switching devices (position switches, foot switches, pull wire switches…), wireless sensors (e.g. solenoid switches) and wireless control systems can also be integrated in sWave.NET networks.
The sWave.NET network can be configured via a Web server to meet different requirements. The database can also be adapted to individual customer needs and wishes.
steute Wireless experts believe that sWave.NET represents the next logical step regarding the integration of switchgear in the industrial data landscape. Customised network solutions, with their own application servers and proprietary interfaces to company IT structures, provide new possibilities for information and data exchange extending beyond individual planes – within a variety of different branches and applications, as well as in production environments designed according to the principles of Industry 4.0. A continuous flow of information is a key prerequisite for the cost-effective, (partly) automated manufacturing of complex products in small quantities.