Kawasaki Motors Deploys Smart Wi-Fi Routers from Ruckus Wireless
Published on: 22nd Jan 2014
Ruckus Wireless says that it has deployed a Wi Fi coverage network covering over two million square feet of manufacturing back office and warehousing space at Kawasaki Motors' factory.
With more than 2,600 employees, Kawasaki Motors needed to implement a Wi-Fi infrastructure to support a variety of applications, from quality control and inventory management systems to inter-staff voice communication and digital signage.
Kawasaki Motors have also designed and developed custom mobile iPad applications that line staff use with an internally developed real-time assembly line inventory (eKanban) system that relies heavily on reliable wireless connectivity. Kawasaki also plans to use Wi-Fi for its Andon system, where assembly line workers have the ability to stop the production line if an issue is identified. It has also developed custom iPad mobile applications for its inspection recording system used by quality service engineers, allowing them to release finished products or hold and inspect units.
According to Kawasaki Motors, the existing Cisco supplied legacy Wi-Fi system was causing continuous disconnections as the environment became more challenging from an RF and data capacity perspective. It also failed to provide ubiquitous Wi-Fi signal coverage, consistent high-speed data connectivity and support for high-density locations within certain parts of the facility.
"Given so much mobility by staff, unfriendly RF obstacles, electromagnetic interference, and RF noise, getting wireless to operate as reliably as a utility, like power, was a major challenge for us," said Paul Kramer, IT manager for Kawasaki Motors..
With Communication Services, Kawasaki's systems integration partner, Kramer deployed nearly 100 three-stream, dual-band 802.11n Ruckus ZoneFlex 7982 indoor access points, each of which integrate a dual-polarized, patented, adaptive antenna array and custom software such as ChannelFly - all of which combine to automatically and continuously select the best signal path and best RF channel for each device.
With the Ruckus system in place, Kawasaki now experiences better quality VoIP communications and up to a five times increase in the amount of products they can scan through its system, according to Kramer.