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Wireless access point bolts onto machines to give remote comms

19 September, 2016

The Swedish industrial communications specialist HMS Industrial Networks has announced a wireless access point that is designed to be mounted on a machine or cabinet like a bolt to provide wireless access via a WLAN, or Bluetooth or Bluetooth Low Energy. The IP67-protected Anybus Wireless Bolt can be used to configure a machine remotely, to replace cables, or to connect the system to a cloud service.

The device can communicate wirelessly over distances of up to 100m. All versions support communications via WLANs, Bluetooth or Bluetooth Low Energy. If high data throughput is important, HMS recommends choosing a WLAN. If the connection’s robustness and stability are more important, it suggests using Bluetooth.

On the wired side, the bolt can communicate with devices via serial (RS-232/485), Can or Ethernet communications. It uses the same connector for both power and data, regardless of the communication method chosen.

“We have seen a steadily growing interest in wireless connectivity through our Anybus wireless bridge,” says HMS product manager, Martin Falkman. “Therefore, we wanted to offer machine-builders a robust, industrial-grade wireless solution for on-machine mounting.”

HMS suggests the following possible applications for the wireless bolt:

•  Configuring machines wirelessly  Machines can be accessed via an Ethernet, serial RS-232/485 or Can connection, and configured remotely.

HMS' bolt-on wireless access point offers a choice of communication technologies

•  Eliminating HMIs  Internal Web pages can be accessed from a laptop, tablet or smartphone. With the 100m range, the user does not need to be near the machine.

•  Connecting field devices  The bolt can be used to connect applications such as an AGVs (automated guided vehicles), especially when they are operating in hazardous locations.

•  Acquiring data via a cloud service  Live data from a machine can be gathered for analysis and reporting, and integrated into Scada systems, without interfering with the machine’s operation.

•  Replacing cables  The bolt can be used in harsh environments or on moving machinery, where cables are not desirable.  

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