Asee peer logo

Application Of Wireless Sensor Networks In A Midwestern Manufacturing Company

Download Paper |


2009 Annual Conference & Exposition


Austin, Texas

Publication Date

June 14, 2009

Start Date

June 14, 2009

End Date

June 17, 2009



Conference Session

Research and Project Initiatives in IT and IET

Tagged Division

Engineering Technology

Page Count


Page Numbers

14.225.1 - 14.225.11



Permanent URL

Download Count


Request a correction

Paper Authors


Abed El Hameed El Madwar University of Northern Iowa

visit author page

Hameed Madwar is currently a doctorate student in Industrial Technology at the University of Northern Iowa. He has received his B.S in Electrical and Computer Engineer at Beirut University, Lebanon in 2005. He got his Master degree in Industrial Supervision and Management at UNI, Iowa in 2008. His research interest are in the area of wireless systems of sensor networks and virtual reality for manufacturing applications.

visit author page

author page

Recayi 'Reg' Pecen

author page

Hong 'Jeffrey' Nie


Julie Zhang University of Northern Iowa

visit author page

Dr. Julie (Zhe) Zhang received her Ph. D. in Industrial Technology from Iowa State University in 2005. Currently she works in the Department of Industrial Technology at University of Northern Iowa as an assistant professor. She teaches courses related to manufacturing processes, manufacturing automation, computer-aided design (CAD), computer-aided manufacturing (CAM), and statistical quality control (SQC). Her research interests include green manufacturing, CAD/CAM/CNC machining process, and machining quality monitoring and control. The recent research projects she involved in include the test and evaluation of bio-based cutting fluids performance in metal machining processes and the development of real-time cutting tool condition monitoring system for CNC milling operations.

visit author page

Download Paper |

NOTE: The first page of text has been automatically extracted and included below in lieu of an abstract



This paper reports the results of the received signal strength index (RSSI) in a Midwestern manufacturing setting in an attempt to design and construct a secured wireless sensor network (WSN) for manufacturing application. The purpose of this wireless application is to replace the existing cables with wireless nodes to enhance workers mobility and reduce the cost of cables’ maintenance in a Midwestern agricultural manufacturing plant.


ZigBee is a standard form of wireless sensor networks (WSNs) based upon the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) 802.15.4 standard. ZigBee protocol was engineered by the ZigBee Alliance to provide OEMs and integrators with low-power consumption wireless data solution with multiple network structures and secure connections for monitoring applications 1.

This paper describes an experimental study for the design and implementation of a ZigBee IEEE 802.15.4 wireless network to offer low power and low cost wireless networking applications in an industrial setting. The experiment has been driven by the problems associated with the use of the cables in industries such as the high cost of maintenance, limited mobility of workers, and potential hazards. With the ZigBee wireless technology, workers can operate and monitor processes beyond the limitation of cables. Although ZigBee applications are becoming well- known technology for industries, the harsh industrial environments such as electro-magnetic interferences may affect the stability and reliability of the wireless network. As a result, the performance of the wireless network under the harsh industrial environments must be investigated before the deployment of the wireless ZigBee nodes.

In order to overcome the problems associated with the cables and to investigate the performance of the wireless network under the harsh industrial environments, a project has been started at the Industrial Technology Department of University of Northern Iowa. The project was preceded first with a testing phase to verify that the harsh manufacturing environment will not affect the performance of the wireless sensor network. Figure 1 illustrates the DM 1810 wireless development kit used to test and analyze the performance of the wireless ZigBee network in a manufacturing environment. Instrumentation setup is demonstrated in Figure 2. It contains 11 nodes (one base station, five routers, and five field nodes) and three IM-1810 module boards.

El Madwar, A. E. H., & Pecen, R. R., & Nie, H. J., & Zhang, J. (2009, June), Application Of Wireless Sensor Networks In A Midwestern Manufacturing Company Paper presented at 2009 Annual Conference & Exposition, Austin, Texas. 10.18260/1-2--5156

ASEE holds the copyright on this document. It may be read by the public free of charge. Authors may archive their work on personal websites or in institutional repositories with the following citation: © 2009 American Society for Engineering Education. Other scholars may excerpt or quote from these materials with the same citation. When excerpting or quoting from Conference Proceedings, authors should, in addition to noting the ASEE copyright, list all the original authors and their institutions and name the host city of the conference. - Last updated April 1, 2015