Built for the Warehouse
8 MPH is 704 feet per minute with a mobile computer and possibly a mobile printer running on your wireless network. If you have a 500,000-square foot warehouse, from one end of the warehouse to the other, your forklift probably went through ½ dozen access points or more in that 1 minute. Will your office-grade wireless network seamlessly hand off those connections that fast? A wireless network specifically designed for this environment will hand those multiple AP connections off without an issue. An office-grade network will have the access points try to hang on to a connection for as long as possible. That will spell catastrophe in a warehouse environment.
In an office environment with thick walls, you may want to oversaturate your wireless access points. After all, you have some heavy data usage with many users in a relatively small area. But if you do that in a warehouse environment, you will cause many issues. If a handheld mobile computer can see too many access points and moves rapidly through a warehouse, it is challenging for the mobile device to pick an AP. In a warehouse wireless network, you want to have overlap with the AP placement, but you do not want to oversaturate your access points and cause interference.
Where is the Access Point?
Have you ever been in a warehouse trying to spot the access points? 30 or 40 feet up in the air, they are usually white, and the ceiling is often also white. There is a blinking light somewhere, or maybe there is a problem, and the light is out. Which access point are you standing beneath? When trying to troubleshoot issues, this can be crucial information. The answer was a simple one. Get a large piece of plywood, paint it yellow, add large identification numbers to the board, and mount the AP to the board. Finally, put beam clamps and safety straps on the board to mount and safely secure it. Now you can stand at a distance and see where every AP is and which one is which. These are the kinds of things you get when you hire the EMP Tech Group to install the wireless network in your shop or warehouse. Years of experience tell us that these simple add-ons make a huge difference.
No place like a warehouse has such frequent change in the environment that affects the wireless. One month you have racks that are mostly empty after a big sale or the holidays have plucked your warehouse clean. The following month, production has caught up, and the warehouse is full of product to the rafters. When you first moved into the facility, you were mainly storing in floor locations, and now you are half full of racking. It would help if you had a wireless network specifically designed for the warehouse to meet these kinds of challenges.
Wireless Site Survey
If your office is small enough, one could argue that you don’t even need a professional wireless site survey. Heck, if your warehouse is small enough, one could make the same argument. For facilities covering 100,000 square feet or more with high racking, a professional site survey will more than pay for the upfront investment.
The Cost of a Bad Wireless Network
The productivity losses from spotty connections and dropped sessions can be immense, and they happen every day across every worker. If your average burdened labor rate is $30,000 per year, and you have 50 warehouse workers per shift using mobile computers on two shifts, that is $3 million. A 10% loss or gain in efficiency is a swing of $300,000. You can now start to see why those dropped sessions or spotty coverage can be costing you big!
Hire an Expert
We specialize in wireless networking for warehouses and manufacturing floors. We bring years of expertise to your application. We will install a rock-solid wireless network that will excel in giving you 100% coverage for your mobile computers and label printers. Contact us today!