PlantMESH™ was designed to create an industrial wireless mesh ethernet system where installation and maintenance are readily accomplished without IT skill sets. PlantMESH works right out of the box, and replacements or expansions never require programming or assisted setup. We know your issues, and many industrial sites have harsh environments, they can be remote, and it is critical to make sure power is the only thing you need to start or expand PlantMESH™.
What is a wireless mesh network and why should you care? We're glad you asked, so come along on our 20 second tour. First let's paraphrase the official wikipedia summary: A wireless mesh network is a communications network made up of radio nodes organized in a mesh topology. Wireless mesh networks often consist of clients, mesh routers (nodes), and gateways. The mesh clients are typically laptops, cell phones, sensors and other wireless devices, while the mesh nodes forward traffic to and from the gateways (gateways are typically connected to a larger WAN). Wireless mesh networks attempt to provide a high-bandwidth network over a specific coverage area, sometimes referred to as a Mesh Cloud.
PlantMESH™architecture is an infrastructure wireless mesh, more specifically, a router network minus the cabling between nodes. PlantMESH™has intelligent peer radio nodes that don't have to be cabled to a wired port like traditional WLAN access points (AP) do. A mesh network is reliable and offers redundancy, as when one node can no longer operate, the rest of the nodes can still communicate with each other, directly or through one or more intermediate nodes.
Out of the box, PlantMESH™ provides three virtual access points, providing plants with three separate networks, all on the same wireless mesh. Typical usage is one for the process control network, one for the business network and one for a vendor network, allowing outside vendors to gain access to the internet without impacting the plant or providing secure internal information to third parties.The proprietary PlantMESH™ routing system provides the same radio/data speeds as high end dual-radio point-to-point wireless, but with an order of magnitude increase in reliability. Unlike a standard industrial wireless router, PlantMESH provides self-healing capabilities because the MeshCORE continuously tests and optimizes paths from connected devices and assigns traffic routes based on that optimization. In addition, every PlantMESH node protects fragile automation devices from network storms, preventing a misbehaving device from taking down the entire network.