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Wireless LAN in smart workshops

Innovation is the core driving force of the "Made in China 2025" initiative. In the future, with the deep integration of new-generation information technology and manufacturing, manufacturing production methods, enterprise organization, and product models will undergo great changes. In this context, Nanjing High Speed Gear Manufacturing Co., Ltd. (hereinafter referred to as "NGC") took the lead in promoting the launch of the "Global Transmission Network", building a B2B vertical e-commerce platform, and using Ruijie's Smart Factory Wireless Solution to streamline production and logistics. Through continual innovation, NGC is leading the way in intelligent manufacturing in China.

Wireless Threshold of Smart Workshops

NGC was founded in 1969 and is headquartered in Nanjing, China. It was listed on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange in 2007 under the name "China High-Speed Transmission". Over the years, NGC has developed four major business segments: gears, marine, machine tools, and LED. The NGC brand is well-established both in China and internationally. Notably, its wind power gearbox production scale and economic benefits have exceeded those of European and American counterparts. In 2009, NGC initiated a LET lean culture transmission cooperation with international partners, followed by a MES project cooperation agreement. These endeavors optimized the entire production process, aiming for "zero defects" in product quality. These initiatives not only bolster NGC's competitiveness in the global market but also contribute to the ongoing enhancement of its quality control system.

NGC's "zero defect" quality strategy project started in early 2015, leveraging the MES project to lead the production process and drive workshop intelligence. The intelligent workshop first connects the five key elements of production management in the manufacturing industry, that is, people, machines, materials, methods, and environment, to the network to achieve intelligent identification, positioning, tracking, monitoring, and management of these elements. This comprehensive connectivity enables information sharing and seamless integration throughout the workshop. To this end, NGC plans to deploy a barcode scanning system in the production workshop to obtain and transmit material and product information in real time. This requires the deployment of a stable, high-speed, and easily manageable WLAN network within the production workshop.

Deploying a wireless network in the workshop poses several challenges, including four key "barriers." Firstly, the unique factory workshop environment demands that APs can be seamlessly switched during wide-area movement without disconnection to support the code scanning service. Secondly, the high temperature in the melting furnace workshop, where local temperatures can soar to 50°C to 60°C in summer, necessitates the stable operation of wireless APs in such extreme heat. Thirdly, the machine tool workshop requires APs with robust anti-interference capabilities to counter electromagnetic field interference. Lastly, the project mandates WLAN coverage across all four factories, with the Xiaohang factory serving as the network management center. Real-time monitoring of WLAN device usage is essential for achieving unified management, configuration, and optimization.

Why NGC Chose Ruijie Networks

When NGC announced the WLAN project, six network manufacturers entered the competition. However, NGC did not recognize the products of the other five manufacturers because they were unable to address issues such as obstacle blocking, extreme temperatures, co-channel interference, and low power of wireless NICs on mobile terminals. In contrast, Ruijie Networks can meet all these requirements and therefore won the bid. How did Ruijie Networks manage to do this?

It is Ruijie Networks' Smart Factory Wireless Solution.

First, to solve the problem of frequent disconnections of the scanning service during movement, Ruijie controls the distance and interval of APs properly to ensure the wireless signal-to-noise ratio quality is within the coverage range. In addition, Ruijie designed redundant terminals to facilitate seamless switching between devices during movement, ensuring uninterrupted connectivity.

In addition, Ruijie deployed RG-AP630, which features a wide temperature range (-40°C to +65°C) and IP67-rated waterproof and dustproof design, and is resistant to electromagnetic interference. This product can adapt to the harsh deployment environment in the workshop.

To enable the campus management center of Xiaohang factory to manage the wireless network in an intuitive and convenient manner, Ruijie provides the RIIL management platform that supports integrated O&M of wired and wireless networks. Through the RIIL management platform, the running status and load of wireless devices in the four factory areas can be intuitively displayed, and the wireless network operation can be actively detected to automatically generate network operation reports, thus realizing intelligent management of the wireless network.

NGC Impressed by Ruijie's Scenario-Specific Solution

After more than one year of stable operation, Ruijie's Smart Factory Wireless Solution helps NGC to carry the MES application in the production workshop, improve production efficiency, and realize the refined management of production, marking a solid step towards smart factories.

Figure: Ruijie Engineers Conduct On-site Survey and Testing

"Ruijie Networks' service quality is truly commendable, and their wireless products are unmatched in terms of performance." The IT director of NGC expressed high praise for Ruijie's offerings. It was a memorable scene when Ruijie engineers fearlessly climbed onto the oil-stained roof to install and test the prototypes. This experience left a lasting impression on the director, providing a fresh perspective on the reliability and effectiveness of Ruijie's products and solutions. In real-world applications, the exceptional signal strength, reliable signal source, and user-friendly management methods further demonstrate the benefits of Ruijie's commitment to "developing scenario-specific solutions."

Scenario Innovation,Drives the Digital Future

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