Interconnected devices are today’s reality. Anywhere you look, the trend is connecting devices such as smartphones, computers, home devices, and vehicles. By using sophisticated sensors, these devices can gather data to make functions more efficient. These translate to consumer and industrial processes aimed at increasing comfort, enhancing security, and improving efficiency.
What is mesh networking?
One of the main challenges of IoT is to speed up communication between devices. One specific approach considered as most promising is mesh networking. This type of network which uses mesh devices like Wirepas increases efficiency. Another benefit is reducing the cost of hardware while at the same time lowering power consumption.
How does mesh networking simplify IoT connectivity?
There are other network infrastructures used in IoT networks. The difference with mesh networking is that nodes are wirelessly connected. The basic components of this type of network are the following:
- Gateway. A gateway is a device that connects the network online. One example is an edge gateway.
- Node. These devices functions to transport data to other nodes within the network.
- Endpoint. In a mesh network, some devices only pass the data generated but don’t pass data received from other nodes.
A mesh network is more persistent and flexible. Unlike other networks, you’ll need fewer IoT gateways for communication.
How does mesh networking revolutionize industrial IoT?
Since mesh networking is considered the most promising solution for IoT connectivity, it’s critical to look at its benefits. Of course, large-scale applications such as industrial networks are set to benefit from this technology.
- Self-healing algorithm. What this means is that the network can choose the shortest possible route to pass data from one node to another. Not only that, the route chosen optimizes connection. Since the algorithm only uses functional nodes, the network is always stable. Nevertheless, the challenge here is finding a defective node can be costly and time-consuming.
- Easy configuration and management. A mesh network doesn’t require preliminary node set-up. If new sensors are added, these get automatically calibrated and connected to the network. For industrial applications, this is a significant benefit as it increases process efficiency.
- Scalable and flexible. Scalability is another ideal benefit for industrial IoT applications. In a mesh network, adding new devices doesn’t affect function and efficiency. There’s flexibility to add new nodes, devices, or wirepas especially when the need of the organization increases.
- Increase cost-efficiency. There are some mesh network tools and technology that are available for free. Also, some sensors intended for mesh network connection are cheaper than WiFi or 3G counterparts.
Indeed, the most revolutionary aspect of a mesh network is how it ensures smarter and more efficient communication. Despite the many benefits, it’s also necessary to look at possible challenges. For industries that choose this type of implementation, there are many things to consider. For instance, it’s necessary to pay close attention to balancing the load. Like any network, if there’s a massive amount of information passing through the route, performance may suffer. Route management is also another key aspect to focus on to optimize network function.