A leading furniture manufacturing company, sought to enhance its wireless connectivity within its 4-storey factory with offices and expansive machine work areas on each floor. The objective was to improve network coverage, speed, and reliability to support the increasing demand for IoT devices and smart manufacturing processes. The solution was to deploy UniFi 6 Long Range Access Points (APs) powered by Power over Ethernet Plus (PoE+) switches.
2.1 Site Survey and Assessment: A comprehensive site survey was conducted to understand the layout, structural considerations, and potential interference sources. This involved analyzing the floor plans, identifying optimal AP locations, and assessing the cabling infrastructure. The site has 4 Floors with Offices, Workshops and Warehouse Storage.
2.2 AP Placement Strategy: Each area required wireless for different reasons, Offices needed Gigabit Wireless Speeds for all computers, all areas needed zero dead zones for mobile usage and hand held scanners, all workshop areas required good stable signal for Iot based machines and sensors and complete infrastructure had wireless cameras installed which was to be seperated from main network access.The UniFi 6 APs were strategically placed to ensure even coverage throughout the factory and warehouses. Consideration was given to the density of devices, potential interference, and the need for seamless roaming across floors.
2.3 Network Infrastructure Review: The existing network infrastructure was audited to ensure compatibility with UniFi 6 specifications. PoE+ switches were selected to deliver both power and data over a single Ethernet cable, simplifying the installation process. Separate POE+ switches were installed on each floor to meet the power requirements as cable lengths were 100 mtr+.
3.1 Cable Installation: High-quality CAT6 Ethernet cables were installed to connect the UniFi 6 APs to the PoE+ switches. Care was taken to adhere to industry standards and minimize cable lengths to maintain signal integrity.
3.2 Switch Deployment: PoE+ switches were strategically positioned on each floor, ensuring efficient power distribution to the UniFi 6 APs. The switches were connected to the existing network infrastructure, and redundancy measures were implemented for network resilience.
3.3 UniFi 6 AP Installation: UniFi 6 APs were securely mounted in the pre-determined locations. The APs were connected to the PoE+ switches, and their settings were configured using the UniFi Controller, ensuring seamless integration with the existing network.
4.1 Signal Strength and Coverage: Rigorous testing was conducted to verify the signal strength and coverage of the UniFi 6 APs. Walk-tests and spectrum analysis were performed to identify any potential dead zones or interference, and adjustments were made accordingly.
4.2 Performance Benchmarking: The network’s performance was benchmarked before and after the installation to assess the impact on data transfer speeds, latency, and overall network responsiveness. The UniFi Controller was used to monitor and analyze network metrics.
4.3 Roaming and Handover Testing: The ability of devices to seamlessly roam between different UniFi 6 APs was tested to ensure uninterrupted connectivity as employees moved across different areas and floors of the factory.
The deployment of UniFi 6 Long Range Access Points using PoE+ switches proved to be a successful solution for improving wireless connectivity in the 4-storey factory with warehouses. The careful planning, meticulous installation, and thorough testing resulted in a robust and reliable wireless network infrastructure capable of supporting the company’s evolving needs in the era of smart manufacturing. The project demonstrated the importance of a comprehensive approach to network planning, coupled with the right choice of equipment, to achieve optimal results.
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