Utility equipment: “Near wired” reliability for industrial wireless devices

utility equipment utility supplies safety products Belden
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Safety products: Belden Inc., a provider of signal transmission solutions for mission-critical applications, has introduced Hirschmann HiLCOS 8.9, the latest version of its WLAN firmware to manage its line of OpenBAT industrial wireless devices. This release is the first industrial wireless application of integrated Parallel Redundancy Protocol (PRP) technology, a new industry standard that allows systems to overcome network failures without affecting data transmission. Now wireless technology can be reliably used for mission critical industrial applications where distances or environments make wired solutions expensive or challenging.

Product Manager Pascal Unterdorfer explains: “Although relatively new, PRP technology is already used in wired applications. However, it is totally new for a wireless access point. With the use of PRP we can increase the reliability of a wireless connection and/or network significantly. In fact, tests prove that we can come close to the reliability of a wired connection.”

The key benefit of PRP inside Hirschmann’s BAT products such as wireless access points, clients and bridges is a significant increase in reliability. PRP offers zero failover with two redundant networks. By doubling the packets, there is no data loss if one packet fails, as either the faster packet or the second packet gets through with a functioning second network.

The new HiLCOS 8.9 firmware includes opportunistic key caching for fast authentication between several access points in a network -- known as “fast roaming” -- where the access points are under common administrative control. Furthermore, the new software offers extensive management, redundancy and security functions.

An early innovator in industrial Ethernet, Belden knows Industrial IT and is delivering the next generation of industrial networking solutions. Its global brands -- Hirschmann, GarrettCom and Tofino Security -- are leading the way in the adoption of industrial Ethernet. With a purpose-built portfolio, Belden’s wired, wireless and embedded products deliver the highest confidence of reliability, availability and security. In addition, excellent warranties and dedicated customer support minimize downtime, protect critical infrastructure and provide peace of mind.

About Belden
Belden Inc., a global leader in high quality, end-to-end signal transmission solutions, delivers a comprehensive product portfolio designed to meet the mission-critical network infrastructure needs of industrial, enterprise and broadcast markets. With innovative solutions targeted at reliable and secure transmission of rapidly growing amounts of data, audio and video needed for today's applications, Belden is at the center of the global transformation to a connected world. Founded in 1902, the company is headquartered in St. Louis and has manufacturing capabilities in North and South America, Europe and Asia.

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April 2014
Volume 18, Issue 4
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