Learn how to optimize hardware connectivity in your facility by addressing potential challenges and offering best practices for sensor and hub placement.
In today's industrial settings, ensuring optimal connectivity between hardware devices is crucial for efficient operations and data accuracy.
Challenges Impacting Connectivity
Before delving into best practices, it's essential to understand the factors that can hinder hardware connectivity by impacting the signal strength at your facility. These include:
- Proximity to strong electrical currents nearby such as transmission lines, generators, or power plants.
- Environmental factors like wind, rain, snow, temperature, humidity, and lunar gravitation.
- Sound and radio wave density.
- Magnetic fields.
- Power spectral density (the distribution of power across different radio wave frequencies at your location).
A common issue in industrial environments is the combination of a weak input signal (this will depend upon the signal strength in the facility) and strong electrical currents nearby, such as those generated by transmission lines, generators, or power plants. If this applies to you, it is recommended to position your hub on the opposite side of the facility from these sources, whenever feasible.
To mitigate these challenges, follow the recommended placement guidelines for sensors and hubs shown below.
Best practices for the placement of your sensors:
- The LoRaWan antenna is on the top front of your sensor. Ensure your sensor is situated vertically, with the QR code facing the direction of the hub.
- Do not place sensors within, behind, or directly on top of food. Product or other items placed in the way could block the antenna on your sensor.
- Place Therma° sensors in the middle of the unit, with enough space to read the temperature around them.
- Do not put sensors near doors or fans. Sudden gusts of airflow pointed at the sensor can cause inaccurate temperature data and trigger excessive alerts.
- Do not submerge sensors in water, above heat or fire, or in ziplock bags. This could cause excessive moisture that may affect the battery life or damage the sensor.
Best practices for the placement of your hubs:
- Locate the hub in an area with robust cellular reception, preferably near an exterior wall or window. You may need to experiment with different positions to identify the optimal spot.
- Ensure the hub is installed in a stable location where it won't be accidentally disconnected or have its antennas altered during daily operations.
- Position the hub closest to the units being monitored. If using multiple hubs, distribute them strategically throughout the facility to enhance coverage.
- Securely attach the 915 MHz antenna to the LoRa port and the flat antenna to the 4G port. Point both antennas directly towards the sky.
- Place the hub flat on its base to prevent any misalignment or signal obstruction.
- Keep the hub away from computer equipment or other electrical equipment that might interfere with radio wave propagation.
Adhering to these best practices for sensor and hub placement will significantly improve the connectivity of your hardware and guarantee precise data transmission.
Considering the unique challenges of your facility's environment, carefully plan and execute the installation process to maximize efficiency and accuracy.
For additional assistance or queries, feel free to contact our dedicated support team.