Decisive factors in the selection of routers for industries are, in addition to robustness and reliability, also the power supply and the mounting of the routers (in most cases: DIN rail mounted routers). You can find more information on this here. However, there are other key selection criteria, such as optimal network coverage through wireless technology, the choice of for industrial routers with external antenna in remote locations, optimal bandwidth, and long-term availability of software as well as components.
Standard Requirements for Industrial Routers
1. Support for wireless technology
Wireless technologies are currently on the rise. For industrial routers, however, it is not the latest technology that is the decisive driver, but other factors such as availability and latency. You can categorize three different types:
Industrial routers with WiFi are particularly suitable for connecting to a local wireless network. You can find them in larger production facilities. The advantage is, that you can use the existing infrastructure. The most reliable technology is used in industrial environments. Depending on the size of the data throughput, we recommend LTE Cat. M1/M2, LTE Cat. 1 or LTE Cat. 3/4 (lower) or LTE Cat. 6 (higher). The Welotec 4G LTE Industrial Router TK500, for example, offers cost-effective 4G connectivity for applications that do not require high data throughput. While 5G technology has many advantages, it is often not the right solution for routers that work with 4G LTE. Depending on the application, one of the three basic versions should be used. You can read more about this in our white paper.
2. Selection of external antenna for industrial routers
Industrial routers with 4G LTE and 5G external antennas are often deployed in remote locations.
Due to the location, 4G LTE and 5G coverage may not be optimal in industrial environments. In remote locations, it is best to install antennas in the lower frequencies such as 700 MHz, 800 MHz, 900 MHz and 1800 MHz. However, the choice of the external antenna for industrial routers is very crucial. Even more important than the antenna itself is the professional installation for optimal reception. The quality, length and other properties of the antenna cable also have an influence. 4G LTE and 5G antennas should continue to withstand extreme environmental conditions and maintain constant performance.
3. Bandwidth for industrial routers
Industrial routers basically do not need a high data throughput. The reliability and availability of the connection is crucial. Because sensor data or remote-control commands are sent to and from the device connected to the industrial router, not much bandwidth is required, but a reliable “always on” connection.
4. Long-term availability
Industrial routers must meet the requirement of long-term availability. In many cases, this can be 10 or even up to 15 years. Because of this, especially developed components and software are installed that last for such a long period of time and can be used for a long time.