Moxa Introduces Industrial Wireless Networking Solutions for Mobile Automation
Moxa's latest in its AWK series of industrial wireless solutions are designed to help with AGV and AMR network reliability, meeting the growing demand for mobile automation.
Mobile robots are becoming increasingly common in modern automation. They have uses in industries across the board, from mining to healthcare, and offer a useful alternative to human labor in dangerous and mundane tasks.
To address this growth, Moxa, industry leader in edge connectivity, industrial computing, and network infrastructure, has developed new, high-volume Wi-Fi AP/bridge/client devices for mobile automation.
Moxa's latest additions to their AWK series of AP/bridge/client devices for "next-generation" industrial networking solutions. Images adapted and used courtesy of Moxa
Mobile Robotic Market Growth
LogisticsIQ's study on the mobile robots market predicts that the use of mobile robots—Automated Guided Vehicles (AGVs) and Automated Mobile Robots (AMRs)—will increase in the near future, with the market expected to exceed a whopping $18 billion by the end of 2027. Projections show the total number of mobile robot installations to exceed 27 million units by the same year, 2027. AGVs are expected to grow by 24% and AMRs by 43% over the next four years.
With this increase comes the need for more reliable and capable infrastructure to support the steadily increasing number of mobile robot installations. This includes things like cloud connection through industrial wireless networking connections.
Moxa's AWK-3252A industrial wireless AP/bridge/client series. Image used courtesy of Moxa
A New Lineup of Networking Solutions
Moxa’s newly released AWK series consists of three different AP/bridge/client devices: AWK-3252A, AWK-4252A, and AWK-1151C. The devices are designed to be “future proof” by providing 802.11 ac performance in combination with a dual-band roaming capability and an IEC 62443-4-2 SL2 certification.
The AWK series has been designed to meet the current and future demands of industries, such as transportation, healthcare, manufacturing, mining, and safety. These industries and more have used mobile robotics to help boost productivity and safety, and their use is only expected to increase with time.
Manufacturers need a large bandwidth to keep up with the demands of an increasing fleet of mobile robots and vehicles. The AWK series provides up to 400 Mbps on the 2.4 GHz band and 867 Mbps on the 5 GHz bandwidth. This gives the devices the power to operate in a dynamic mobile environment and be used by many devices without a drop in performance.
One-to-many network address translation (1-to-n NAT) helps to stop IP conflicts of devices on the wireless OT network while simultaneously optimizing machine integration flow. All this forms a system capable of providing customers with a device that can be used for high-volume data communication applications.
Moxa's AWK-4252A "3-in-1" industrial wireless AP/bridge/client series. Image used courtesy of Moxa
AWK Portfolio Features
Moxa has taken security seriously and has made it a key feature in network reliability. They have used the moto secure-by-design to make the devices IEC 62443-4-2 certified by IECEE. The standard ensures a high level of device security for use in an IEC 62443-3-3 compliant security environment. In addition to the IECEE certification, the AWK series includes the latest WPA3 encryption for increased WLAN security.
Wireless reliability is important for manufacturers and especially important when it comes to the operation of AMRs and AGVs. Moxa has managed to make the AWK series very reliable, with a network availability of 99.95% with an average handover time of less than 150 ms. In addition, seamless transition between Aps is possible while on the move with the use of Turbo Roaming and automatic band switching.
Radiofrequency (RF) compliance in many different places, including Europe, Canada, and the FCC, among others, makes the AWK series a global entity that doesn’t require specific wireless devices dependent on local RF regulations. Usability is enhanced with tools for review and troubleshooting, including an intuitive dashboard and LED indicators for a clear overview of the system status.