It is critical for manufacturers to implement a proficient network, because most material handling systems, machines, and equipment come with mixed communication interfaces, stand-alone processes, and are not efficiently networked. For example, AS/RS systems rely on a networked front-end computer terminal for status reports, and it is difficult for a control room to monitor field device status if downtime occurs. A serial-to-Ethernet device server can be networked instantly with field legacy equipment to improve the efficiency and real-time monitoring. Due to the scope of the material handling facility, PoE or IP-based video cameras can be networked for safety and real-time process monitoring. Network downtime is also a major concern for process data exchange. A redundant ring network provides fast network recovery if any unexpected link failure occurs.
Instead of a hardwired infrastructure, a wireless solution for device networking can be considered to overcome the immense facility or cabling restrictions.