With the astounding growth of Wi-Fi supported devices and mobile internet applications, warehouses are dependant on Wi-Fi technology now more than ever. Wireless access points have evolved from the pursuit of connectivity and coverage to the goal of supporting high-capacity access to as many wireless clients as possible, while avoiding network interruptions. Designing a warehouse Wi-Fi network is determined by a number of important aspects. Below you will find all the factors which should be taken into consideration when building a warehouse Wi-Fi solution.
Understanding Why Wi-Fi is Important to Your Warehouse
Mobility is an important aspect in ensuring that any warehouse, distribution center, or factory runs a smooth operation. Providing the premises with Wi-Fi access from anywhere within the facility is not only for creating a seamless technology system that keeps all operations going without interruption, but also for the productivity and security of employees. Within a warehouse, devices such as: scanners, laptops, mobile phones, automated picking systems, automated vehicles, security cameras, all rely on a Wi-Fi network to operate. Wi-Fi enabled technology allows for streamlined production, by not upgrading to more advanced equipment, this could hold a business back from utilizing the latest advancements in the logistics industry. Additionally, access points can create more coverage in a number of areas which can be considered to be blind spots within the existing Wi-Fi network, therefore preventing disruption in the workday.
Deciding What W-Fi Features are Most Important
Wi-Fi Access Points have come a long way, therefore choosing what features are fundamental for your business will help to narrow down the possible options. Grandstream’s GWN series offers both indoor and long-range weatherproof devices with a variety of key features such as:
- Wi-Fi 6: Wi-Fi 6 exclusive technology allows the access point to better serve dense network deployments.
- Market Leading Wi-Fi Standards: 802.11a/b/g/n/ac/ax standards, this supports past, present, and future Wi-Fi devices
- Greater Performance for Less Money: Up to 512 concurrent devices, 300-meter coverage range, 1.77 or 3.5 Gbps aggregate dual-band throughput
- UL/DL OFDMA: Access points running on the 801.11ax standard perform better in dense environments and are designed to manage multiple Wi-Fi devices with varying bandwidth demands
- Beamforming Technology: AP detects wireless clients and focus signals towards them
- Multiple Customized SSIDs: Up to 32 SSID channels with customized client configurations, captive portal, and bandwidth limits
- QoS Standards: Prioritizes certain network traffic/devices so critical tasks don't compete for bandwidth, can be customized based on deployment
There are also a number of other important features for a Wi-Fi deployment, and when brought together they can deliver a network that is ideal for supporting work devices, IoT devices, and facility management equipment that are found in a warehouse deployment.
Decide On Your Device Management Style
Grandstream offers a number of different management styles to fit the needs of any deployment. Whether the warehouse is relying on a service provider, or has an in-house IT department, administrating GWN access points can be tailored to fit deployment needs. For smaller warehouses, the GWN series come equipped with an embedded controller that can auto-discover and auto-provision any in-network GWN series AP from the designated Access Point Provisioning Master, which also offers a centralized provisioning and management interface. This method can control up to 50 local GWN’s.
For larger deployment scenarios, GWN.Cloud is a FREE enterprise-grade, management platform for an unlimited amount of Grandstream access points. As a result of streamlined monitoring and maintenance, managing your network across multiple locations is not as simple as possible. Secure networks can be deployed in seconds using our GWN.Cloud mobile app or the web browser interface, and eventually managed from the same interface.
As it is important to keep track of network’s performance GWN.Cloud provides you with real-time monitoring, alerts, statistics, and reports that can be viewed using a web browser or the mobile application, then later managed from either interface. The monitoring capabilities are simple to use for anyone to understand and use regarless of their IT background. If any problems arise at any point in time, the IT support technician can easily log on and troubleshoot without the need to be onsite.
Normally deployed on a customer’s private network, GWN Manager offers a premise-based software controller that can take up to 3,000 Grandstream access points with all the same features as the GWN.Cloud. GWN Manager is an optimal choice for warehouses and logistics companies who have stringent privacy policies and do not allow their data to be stored via a cloud solution.
Plan Your Deployment
After covering the types of devices and features which will be needed, the next step is to plan the deployment. A facility that requires a wireless network for its Wi-Fi enabled IoT equipment, laptops, and seamless roaming requirements needs to first look at the required floor plan. To achieve the strongest signal coverage, marking out the areas where there is high network usage which should be taken into consideration when building out the network infrastructure. Additional considerations should include marking off areas where high shelving may cause network interference, outdoor placements, automated vehicles paths, etc. By being aware of this ahead of time, you can provide all the relevant to the site surveyor where they will help to determine the placement of the access points and their antennas to create the best Wi-Fi coverage possible.
Creating a stable and reliable Wi-Fi network is critical in the productivity and operations of any facility. Choosing the correct equipment with the correct features can be a decisive factor in the success of the business. Grandstream’s GWN series of networking solutions was designed to make networking easy and adaptable. The GWN series solutions can also be easily paired and managed with other Grandstream Wi-Fi enabled products creating a complete solution.