WLAN Architecture

Manufacturers are seeking simplification when connecting their automation systems. Today's advanced plant-floor devices can capture and report unprecedented volumes of variables that affect predictability. By using a Converged Plantwide Ethernet (CPwE) infrastructure – a joint system development effort between Rockwell Automation and Cisco Systems - manufacturers can deploy a resilient Ethernet protocol, achieve real-time monitoring with mobility and use wireless technology that converges with an existing Wireless LAN network.

A new white paper and design and implementation guide – “Deploying 802.11 Wireless LAN Technology within a Converged Plantwide Ethernet Architecture” – builds on the existing CPwE system by introducing Wireless LAN network capabilities, with emphasis on equipment connectivity. This document assumes the reader is familiar with CPwE.

The detailed design guidance will help control system engineers, IT network engineers, and system integrators implement standard, IP-centric wireless networks in a more robust, secure and scalable way.

It provides in-depth information on 802.11 wireless LAN (WLAN) solutions within a CPwE architecture, including design considerations for fixed position, nomadic and mobile equipment use cases. It also includes explanations for how to configure, maintain and troubleshoot WLAN for each use case, and detailed documentation on how the architectures were tested and validated by Cisco and Rockwell Automation.

With this new resource, network designers can create a small network within a plant using a single autonomous access point, and scale up to create a larger, unified WLAN architecture.

Download the full guide to learn more about Wireless LAN design and implementation.