June 14, 2009
June 14, 2009
June 17, 2009
14.225.1 - 14.225.11
APPLICATION OF WIRELESS SENSOR NETWORKS IN A MIDWESTERN MANUFACTURING COMPANY
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.
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