IWLAN – the Wireless LAN for demanding industrial applications

Industrial Wireless LAN (IWLAN) is Wi-Fi designed specifically for industry with added industrial functions

Wireless industrial communication as a key element of digitalization

The ongoing digital transformation of industry would not be possible without modern communication technologies. To offer companies the optimal infrastructure for exchanging all types of data, Siemens has developed special Industrial Wireless LAN (IWLAN) products with unique added functions that meet the specific requirements of industrial Wi-Fi inside the control cabinet, indoors, and outdoors. Applications in all industrial sectors are benefiting from these products, especially in automation – including automotive manufacturing, transportation, logistics, and the oil and gas industry.

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SCALANCE W760 Access Points and SCALANCE W720 Client Modules enable Industrial Wireless LAN from the control cabinet

Simple, compact Wi‑Fi solutions

Industrial Wireless LAN from the control cabinet

Easily and cost-effectively implement wireless machine networks with SCALANCE W760 Access Points and SCALANCE W720 Client Modules. Thanks to their practical SIMATIC design, minimal space is required in the control cabinet when automation components like SIMATIC ET 200SP are integrated into Industrial Wireless LAN – according to the Wireless LAN standard IEEE 802.11n and with data rates of up to 150 Mbit/s.

SCALANCE W770/780 Access Points and SCALANCE W730/W740 Client Modules enable Industrial Wireless LAN per the IEEE 802.11n standard, whereas SCALANCE WAM760 and SCALANCE WUM760 support IEEE 802.11ax (Wi-Fi 6)

Demanding Wi‑Fi solutions

Wi-Fi for inside and outside the control cabinet and for harsh environments

SCALANCE W Access Points and Client Modules for demanding Wi-Fi solutions are extremely versatile. In conjunction with added industrial functions (iFeatures), they expand the potential applications far beyond the Wireless LAN standard: for example, wireless real-time communication including safety communication with a focus on personal protection, and redundancy via Wi‑Fi. Depending on the application’s deployment location and communication requirements, different device classes are particularly well suited.

 

Transfer data wirelessly from the control cabinet, or rely on our devices with IP65 protection class from outside the control cabinet. SCALANCE W770 Access Points and SCALANCE W730 Client Modules (up to 300 Mbit/s according to IEEE 802.11n) in the SIMATIC design reliably and flexibly implement wireless communication between the controller and distributed I/O such as SIMATIC ET 200MP. With SCALANCE WAM760 Access Points and SCALANCE WUM760 Client Modules, you reliably and flexibly implement wireless communication according to the latest Wireless LAN standard IEEE 802.11ax (Wi‑Fi 6) with data rates up to 1,201 Mbit/s.

 

The IWLAN SCALANCE W780 Access Points and SCALANCE W740 Client Modules deliver data rates up to 450 Mbit/s per the IEEE 802.11n standard. Devices with IP30 protection class are ideal for use in the control cabinet, whereas IP65 products are perfect for use outside the control cabinet and under harsh conditions.

IWLAN SCALANCE W1780 Access Points/WAM766-1 and SCALANCE W1740/WUM766-1 Client Modules feature extremely high bandwidths, even in harsh environments

High-performance solutions (Wi‑Fi 6 and more)

For extremely high bandwidths in the industrial Wireless LAN

With IWLAN SCALANCE W1780 Access Points and SCALANCE W1740 Client Modules according to the IEEE 802.11ac Wave 2 Wireless LAN standard, and SCALANCE WAM766-1 Access Points and SCALANCE WUM766-1 Client Modules according to IEEE 802.11ax (Wi‑Fi 6), applications that require extremely high bandwidths – for example, high-performance video transmission – can also be implemented in harsh industrial environments.

Antennas and accessories complete Siemens’ offerings for Industrial Wireless LANs

Antennas and accessories

Wi-Fi antennas for every application

An extensive antenna portfolio completes the comprehensive IWLAN solutions from Siemens. They include omnidirectional antennas for large-area radio coverage in all directions, directional antennas for precisely defined radio coverage, and sector or wide-angle antennas for broad radio fields. In addition to the variety of antenna types, we also offer cabling technology and mounting accessories like cables, lightning protection elements, and plug-in connectors for your Industrial Wireless LAN.

 

Our special antenna solution for SCALANCE W components, RCoax radiating cables ensure reliable radio connections along defined radio links. This coaxial cable with unique radiation characteristics is robust and easy to install. It’s suitable for Wi-Fi applications in potentially explosive atmospheres (Zone 2) even without special approvals and connects to SCALANCE W Access Points as an external antenna.

SINEC NMS is an efficient Network Management System for Industrial Wireless LANs

IWLAN network management system

SINEC NMS for Industrial Wireless LAN networks

SINEC NMS is our scalable Network Management System (NMS) for network structures of various sizes. This system can be used to centrally monitor, manage, and configure Industrial Wireless LANs with tens of thousands of devices around the clock, including in security-relevant areas. This makes SINEC NMS your first choice for complex network structures.

Wi-Fi for industry

Unlimited Wi-Fi with added industrial functions

The requirements placed on industrial networks are constantly increasing as part of the digital transformation. Especially when dealing with wireless data transmission, network components are subject to very specific requirements. Our IWLAN solutions guarantee maximum reliability and performance.

Many applications, specific solutions

Regardless of the sector or use case, our components for Wi-Fi communication cover a wide range of applications for both indoor and outdoor use and are uniquely suited for industry, even in the harshest conditions.

In addition, the open Industrial Ethernet standard PROFINET or EtherNet/IP and PROFIsafe via Wireless LAN ensure greater efficiency, flexibility, and security. You can manage network components either via convenient web-based device management or use the scalable SINEC NMS Network Management System. This is especially efficient when you need to manage multiple IWLAN components simultaneously.

Efficient Industrial Wireless LAN diagnostics with SCALANCE W

Trouble-free wireless communication with no interruptions is possible thanks to three integrated diagnostic tools: a spectrum analyzer, signal recorder, and remote capture. Fast diagnostics reduce downtime caused by errors and the often lengthy search for the cause. With the SCALANCE W portfolio, you’ll benefit from simple and efficient fault diagnostics in your Industrial Wireless LAN.

Your benefits from Industrial Wireless LAN

Discover the benefits of WiFi 6 for industrial applications
The new IEEE 802.11ax WLAN standard

Wi-Fi 6 for industry

The IEEE 802.11ax WLAN standard for industrial wireless communication permits higher data rates, improved performance, greater efficiency, and future viability. The advantages of Wi-Fi 6 are extended by Siemens specifically for the requirements of the industry. With the new SCALANCE W Access Points and Client Modules, you can start using Wi-Fi 6 immediately.

Additional industrial functions

iFeatures: Special functions for Industrial Wireless LAN

Wireless communication via Industrial Wireless LAN (IWLAN) is a solution that’s already being used in numerous applications: for example, mobile network participants like automated guided vehicles (AGVs) and crane applications. The devices’ hardware and software both need to meet special industrial requirements.

iFeatures at a glance

The requirements placed on industrial networks are constantly increasing during the digital transformation. Wireless communication via Industrial Wireless LAN (IWLAN) is already used in countless solutions. In addition to SCALANCE W hardware designed for industrial use, Siemens offers clever additional functions called iFeatures that were developed specifically for industry. They can be activated as software – including retroactively – on different IWLAN Access Points and Client Modules via KEY-PLUG or CLP.

Deterministic communication for overhead monorails

This additional industrial function is especially relevant for overhead monorails. In these linear structured applications, using RCoax radiating cables instead of conventional antennas ensures a reliable and continuous signal quality.

The industrial Point Coordination Function (iPCF) iFeature allows a radio cell’s entire data flow to be sorted – making the communication deterministic. This is managed by the Access Point that cyclically polls all the radio cell clients. iPCF also facilitates fast and reliable switching between two radio cells while ensuring constant roaming times of significantly less than 50 ms.

Maximum freedom of movement and reliable connections

The industrial Point Coordination Function-Management Channel (iPCF-MC) iFeature is ideal for applications involving mobile clients that move freely in the field and communicate with the controller via PROFINET (and even PROFIsafe) or EtherNet/IP. iPCF-MC provides the necessary deterministics and real-time communication. Although rarely required, applications with RCoax and directional antennas are also available.

As with iPCF, the clients are cyclically polled (deterministics). With the iPCF-MC iFeature, the client continuously scans its environment for alternative Access Points. Should the radio quality deteriorate, a change to another Access Point can be planned and very quickly implemented. This is enabled by using two wireless interfaces on the Access Point simultaneously in different ways: While one interface transmits a cyclic signal (beacon), the other is used for data transfer.

Redundant technology for rail transportation

Spatial barriers, poor wireless coverage, or interference often cause disturbances. In addition, it’s not usually possible to predict the duration of a roaming process. All of these factors can result in a breakdown in communications.

These problems can occur in all mobile applications, including automatic guided vehicles (AGV). Railway applications in which Client Modules in the moving train communicate with the Access Points on the trackside also need to meet special requirements.

The industrial Parallel Redundancy Protocol (iPRP) iFeature facilitates the use of redundancy technology for parallel utilization of two radio links in wireless networks. This supplementary function enables redundant communication over two IWLAN connections, even with moving applications. Disruptions to data transfer on one radio link are compensated by parallel transmission on a second link. Whenever the roaming process is delayed or interference occurs, communication continues running reliably via this second path.

Prevent data manipulation and theft

Inter AP-Blocking prevents cross-communication between Wi-Fi Clients. Defining secure communication partners and gateways reduces the security risk in a network environment with unknown participants.

Normally, the clients connected to an Access Point can communicate with all the participants in the layer 2 network. This poses a potential security risk because your devices can also be accessed by unknown and unsafe network participants. As a result, communication with other nodes in the network is prohibited in security-relevant applications in order to prevent data manipulation and theft or other failures.

The Inter AP-Blocking iFeature makes it possible to restrict communication by clients connected to the Access Point. This additional security function ensures that clients within the network infrastructure only connect to secure, predefined Access Points. Only those devices whose IP addresses have been configured on the Access Point as allowed addresses can be reached by the clients. Communication with other network participants is prohibited and blocked.

With PLUGs and CLPs from Siemens, you’ll expand the functionality of your Industrial Wireless LAN and simplify the replacement of network devices

PLUGs for network components

Replacing network devices is simple and doesn’t require specialist knowledge. The C-PLUG, KEY-PLUG, and SCALANCE CLP removable data storage media are used to back up the configuration data on your SCALANCE devices or SIMATIC communications processors (CPs). Just remove the PLUG or CLP from the defective device, install the replacement device, reinsert the PLUG/CLP – and the new device is ready to use, with the same configuration as the previous one. KEY-PLUGs and CLPs contain all the functions of the C-PLUG and additionally enable specific industrial functions such as the iFeatures in SCALANCE devices.

Further information

Downloads, support, and service for Industrial Wireless LAN

Find more information on our IWLAN offerings and products here.

Professional support for future-proof communication networks

Professional Services for Industrial Networks: State-of-the-art network components alone aren’t enough to create a state-of-the-art industrial communication network. Expertise in network design and implementation is at least as important. With Siemens, you get on-site service and support, consulting services for network design, support for integration and implementation, and training services for your personnel. Before wireless solutions are commissioned, it’s especially important to ensure precise radio field coverage and planning as well as the right choice of components for ensuring smooth operation. Our certified solution partners and Siemens experts provide you with highly qualified support for developing your network solution – designed for your specific requirements.

The fastest way to the experts

Proposed solutions for your queries and direct access to our experts in Technical Support

Service offers

To remain competitive over the long term, companies in industry must ensure – and ideally increase – the availability and productivity of  machines and plants. As your partner, we offer a unique range of services and support based on our extensive technology and industry expertise.

Well trained for excellent handling

Receive standardized or individual expertise directly from the manufacturer – with training centers in more than 60 countries

References

IWLAN in practical use

Our IWLAN solutions are already being used in practice with success – including in combination with other industrial communications network components, of course. Find interesting customer reference stories here.
Teaser Cybersecurity for Industry
Cybersecurity for Industry

Security information

In order to protect plants, systems, machines and networks against cyber threats, it is necessary to implement – and continuously maintain – a holistic, state-of-the-art industrial security concept. Siemens’ products and solutions only form one element of such a concept. For more information about industrial security, please visit.

 

siemens.com/cybersecurity-industry

Everything about IWLAN

Direct path to fast, reliable and robust IWLAN

To develop or modernize your wireless communication system, Siemens not only offers the ideal hardware and high-performance additional functions designed especially for the needs of industry; our experts will also advise you and put the ideal solution in place for you, individually tailored to your application. Don’t delay – talk to us now.

Our experts will be happy to help.

Contact us