If you are under the assumption that you can accomplish your communication goals and the ideal communication network with one product, you have been misled. In order to build a network that meets both your current and long term goals, you will need to build a communication strategy complete with tactics and measurable objectives. But how do you accomplish this?
This article from RemoteMagazine.com explains the 4 steps to building the ideal communication network
Step 1 – Identify Needs, Goals and Limitations
Before even attempting to build your network, you must first address your goals. Have a communication plan in place and take into account the equipment or locations you want to communicate to and from. Talk with your colleagues and determine what is currently working, what needs to be improved upon and what they want this new communication plan to entail. Knowing where your organization currently stands is a big part of taking that next step forward.
Furthermore, there are several questions you need to consider:
• Will you be utilizing a high-speed backbone with complete need for IP addressability?
• Are you up to speed on internal or federal security standards?
• How often will you be required to refresh the data?
• Will you need data by exception or timed poll and response data?
• What type of equipment (PLC, RTU, other) will the communication device(s) be connected to?
• What type of data interface capability does the equipment have?
• What equipment will you be installing in the future?
Step 2 – Budgetary Concerns or Limitations?
Before you go out and buy the best equipment available, determine your budget. Figure out what you can spend and how you can best meet the goals you outlined in step one with the money you have been allotted. Planning is the key to everything.
Step 3 – Know the Market and the Available Technologies
Now it is time to research all of your available options. Know what is available now and what will be available in the future. Attending a trade show is a great way to familiarize yourself with the technology. You will need to do some legwork in order to find the best possible solutions for your business. Call manufacturers (note that is plural. A single manufacturer will not meat all of your needs) and ask tons of questions. Just because a product costs more that does not mean it is the best fit for your situation and budget. Make sure to properly explain what you need, what you are looking for and what you are willing to spend.
The more options you research, the better the chances you find the right technology for your organization. Look at serial communication, Bluetooth, Ethernet, Microwave, landlines and cellular networks, anything that is available.
Step 4 – System Design, Deployment and Support
Be prepared to preplan your installations by taking the extra step to have path-studies and network design models completed. You will work in cooperation with your suppliers to establish network expectations and gather GPS coordinates for entry into your computer software, providing you with communication paths, fade margins, Fresnel zone and topographical mapping for your new network.
Now you can focus on preparing a detailed project plan, detailing the installation stages prior to actual deployment. Have meetings with manufacturers, installers and anybody else involved in the project and don’t forget to assign a project manager to oversee the installation.
Now you are almost done. Just do not forget the accessories. Coaxial, antenna, surge protection, band-pass filters and proper sealing against the elements are just a few accessories to consider. Over looking the smallest detail can become a big problem down the road.
Now that you know what you need to do, the rest is up to you. Utilizing the above steps will greatly increase the likelihood of creating a communication network that will meet the needs of your organization both now and in the future.
For any questions on building the perfect communication network, simply contact ARK Systems at 1-800-995-0189 or click here today.