BELDEN’S HIRSCHMANN™ RANGE OF PRODUCTS MAKES THE COMPANY A LEADING PLAYER IN INDUSTRIAL WLAN
Tailor-made solutions from a single source Belden is one of the leading providers of WLAN technology for industrial use. Belden’s comprehensive range of Hirschmann™ products – from access points, clients and controllers right through to antennas, accessories and special management software – is ideal for building one-stop, tailored solutions for local installations as well as large-scale networks. These products have already been successfully installed in a large number of projects for factory automation and in the energy and transport sectors. The flexibility WLAN brings to mobile connectivity has a positive impact on costs. And today’s wireless networks that are based on this technology can certainly hold their own with cable-based Ethernet networks in terms of performance.
Hirschmann™ products have played a significant role in these developments from the very beginning. When the BAT 11b access point was unveiled at the Hanover Fair in 2004, it was one of the world’s first WLAN devices designed for industrial use. Two years later, the BAT 54 was the first IP65 system to be offered to the market, and this was followed in the same year by BAT54-Rail, a top-hat rail model. 2007 saw a further milestone with the introduction of BAT54-F, carrying the IP67 protection rating and also available in an explosion protection zone 2 version.
Adoption of the IEEE802.11n WLAN standard in September 2009 made data rates of up to 300 Mbps possible, and once again Belden played a pioneering role. The Hirschmann™ BAT300 series of access points launched in that year, in IP40 and IP65/67 versions, supported the new standard plus the new MIMO (multiple input multiple output) antenna technology designed to ensure a stable radio connection even in the event of reflections or other forms of interference. The BAT300-F X2, which followed in 2010, was the first 300 Mbps access point certified for use in explosion protection zone 2. Requiring no additional protective case, this device is particularly compact and easy to install.
Today, the access points and clients in the Hirschmann™ BAT54-Rail and BAT300-Rail series also have both ATEX IEC/EN 60079 Zone II and ISA 12.12.01 Class 1 Div 2 certifications. This means that, equipped with suitable protective cases, they can be used anywhere in the world in potentially explosive environments. Moreover, all BAT devices using the HiLCOS 8.50 WLAN firmware, compliant with the European 5 GHz standard (EN 301893 V1.5.1), can be seamlessly integrated into Profinet and EtherNet/IP networks.
In 2010, Belden introduced Hirschmann™ BAT controllers in the WLC series, an entirely new class of equipment that facilitates comprehensive WLAN coverage for the industrial sector. These controllers are designed for use in switch cabinets and can be used to centrally manage hundreds or even thousands of access points. As these controllers are also compatible with all access points in the BAT family, there is no necessity to replace any existing devices, enabling the network to be gradually modified in line with growing requirements. Over and above this, these controllers also support Voice over IP using Layer3 tunneling, opening up new areas of application for WLAN.
To supplement the hardware, Belden also offers Hirschmann™ Industrial HiVision software for integration and convenient management of WLAN devices in cable-based Ethernet networks allowing the visualization of access points, clients and controllers. Other WLAN-specific functions include monitoring of signal strength and data rate of the wireless connection. It is also possible to define threshold values and link these to alarms.
Belden’s industrial WLAN program is rounded off by a broad range of antennas, cables and adapters plus special surge protection devices. “We can offer our customers everything they need to create a wireless network, entirely from a single source,” says product manager Olaf Schilperoort. “But that’s only part of what we can do. Planning, installation and service are equally important to the success of industrial projects.” As all WLAN devices operate perfectly together with Hirschmann™ switches, it is also possible to implement complete solutions for LAN and WLAN architectures.”
Belden®: Sending All the Right Signals™
Belden designs, manufactures and markets signal transmission solutions, including cables, connectors and I/O modules, wireless network systems as well as network devices and control, load sensing and load moment limitation systems designed for safety-critical applications ranging from industrial automation to data centers, broadcast studios and the aviation and aerospace industry. The company focuses on segments of the worldwide cable and automation markets that require both highly specialized and readily available products. With manufacturing facilities in North America, Europe and Asia, Belden has recorded a total revenue of USD 1.62 billion for the fiscal year 2010.
Together with its brands Hirschmann™ and Lumberg Automation™, Belden offers an extensive and highly specialized product portfolio covering the full range of data communications – from the information and control levels down to the field level. The company has more than 15 offices throughout Europe, the Middle East and Africa, with manufacturing facilities in Czech Republic, Germany, the Netherlands, UK, Denmark, Italy and Hungary.
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